The Governess of Highland Hall by Carrie Turansky is the story of Julia Foster, former missionary to India looking for employment in England in 1911 while her father recovers from an illness. Julia is hired as governess by the widower, Sir William Ramsey of Highland Hall. She is immediately put to work caring for Sir William's two children, Andrew and Millie, and his deceased cousin's teenage daughters, Katherine and Penelope. Julia's calm determination helps her face the many trials that arise in her position. She befriends Sir William's sister Sarah who gains confidence in running the estate. And as time progresses, Sir William starts to confide in Miss Foster. Both begin to develop deeper feelings for each other, but because of social standards they are unable to move beyond their current employer/employee relationship. As financial disaster looms ahead, Sir William must make some difficult choices in business, love and the future of his family. Can Sir William and Julia move beyond social barriers to unite together to bring peace and joy to a broken family?
The author, Carrie Turansky, describes The Governess of Highland Hall as Downton Abbey meets Jane Eyre with a little Sound of Music thrown in. I quite agree with this description. Julia Foster had both inner intelligence and stunning outer beauty combined with high standards and the qualities of a well bred lady. Others in the home were either jealous of her or she was well respected. Carrie's description of each character was fascinating and she had several love stories as well as a good plot and excellent climax with many surprises throughout. I was completely taken with the estate (see pictures below), the staff, the village, Julia and William's interactions and how the children responded to Miss Foster. When Carrie writes she listens to the movie soundtracks of The Prince of Tides, Little Women, Cider House Rules, A Beautiful Mind, Anne of Green Gables and of course Downton Abbey. This book and upcoming series is not to be missed!!
The Governess of Highland Hall by Carrie Turansky
Here are a few pictures of the inspiration for Highland Hall: Tyntesfield
|Main staircase: the family and staff gathered here each morning for prayer and Scripture reading|
*I received a complimentary copy of this book for this review. All opinions are my own.*