A sweet story of a simple missionary-turned-governess set in England in the 1900's on a elegant estate, this story is full of Christian values, a nice light read that all historical fiction fans will enjoy!
When I first requested to review The Governess of Highland Hall, I had never heard of, or read any of Carrie's books, though I found out later that she has written several. But after looking over the synopsis I though it sounded like a nice read. When I finished reading The Governess of Highland Hall I was very pleased with the story, and though for some reason, it didn't quite make my 4 star rating mark, I really enjoyed it!
This story has such a elegant backdrop! It is set in the 1900's in England on a grand estate which the owner inherited from his late cousin-and had just as quaint a story to go with it. Julia Foster has grown up with her missionary family in India serving the people there, but when her father becomes ill, they must travel back to England in hopes that it will strengthen him so they can return to India. But when his health continues to decrease, and funds are short, Julia obtains a position in a wealthy home as a governess for two young children and two older girls who are ready to make their debut in England. As the story unfolds, you meet many of the people who work and live at Highland Hall and get to know them quite well as we see their lives intertwine-especially when reading about two couples interest for each other despite the fact that one is a wealthy person living at Highland, and the other a lower class worker for Highland. But despite the difference in money, they realize that money has nothing to do with marriage-or at least it shouldn't-and that you should rather marry for love and because it is the person God has for you. Though these two blossoming romances are just side-stories to make the main plot with Julia and Sir William run smoother, but I enjoyed getting to know the other people at Highland better, and learned a lot from their character.
One of the things that I loved about this book is how from the very beginning Julia was a strong believer in Christ-probably due to the fact that she grew up with missionary parents and had several opportunities to prove her faith rather than merely claim it. Often times a story starts with a character who isn't strong in their faith, but their faith strengthens as the story progresses. But not this one! Julia was a very firm believer from the very first page, and it was very obvious in the way she made choices and interacted with others-which is one of the things that made me love her and consider her to be a wonderful role model. I just loved seeing how she would respond to certain situations, and often times she would respond with feminine grace that was seasoned with strong Christian character that challenged the way I respond to others and made me think.
I also enjoyed how this book was a moderate romance, and while there was some romance, it wasn't overwhelming and the romance blossomed in a very God honoring manner. The romance also proved a wonderful lesson in regard to realizing that money or class should have nothing to do with who you marry. I also loved the ending to the story and the events that lead up to it! Some were very unexpected as well!
This book, for me was a very close 4 star book. But for some reason it didn't quite make the mark, but was definitely above a 3 star rating, so I decided on 3.5 stars. I think the reason for this is because they book was a bit laid back. While there was always something going on, only rarely would it be something very exciting or life threatening, and was a more calm story to fit the time period and placing. I found it to sometimes feel a tad bit slow, but it would really depend on what your level of interest is concerning action and excitement. Overall though I found it to be a delightful read and one that I would recommend to historical fiction lovers!
N O T E :: I'd like to sincerely thank BloggingForBooks.org and the publisher for providing me with a complementary ARC review copy. of The Governess of Highland Hall. All thoughts expressed in my review are my own, honest and unbiased; and I was not paid to write this review.