Right then. I may be a fantasy lover, but give me a chance at a good historical fiction and I'm apt to love it just as much. I enjoyed this book. It isn't my favorite historical read of recent memory, but I really did like it. So that I don't ramble on too much, let's look at a few key elements.
The plot. The plot was good. I liked the idea of a missionary returning after years of being gone having to adjust back to life as well as getting a job to support her family. It was interesting to watch her work with her charges in a way that would glorify God. There was lots of tension in this book. There was the knowledge of past hurts, and plenty of characters to provide people to dislike. :P
This leads me to... the characters. Everyone had a purpose, and everyone accomplished their purpose well. There was Julia, who was wonderful as a sensible missionary/governess trying to get by and changing everyone around her in the process. Then there was William, a multi-faceted man with many deep hurts that Julia found herself being used by the Lord to try to heal. The children were adorable, and unlike the cover leads you to believe, were not that unruly. Millie was a sweet little girl, and Andrew was merely what you'd expect from a nine-year-old boy, full of energy and longing for his father's approval. The two cousins, though, were a bit tough to handle, especially Katherine. Anywho, there were a lot of great characters in the book, and there were a few I really, really, really didn't like, such as the house keeper and William's brother, David. But they were all, necessary to the plot of the story, and I suppose it wouldn't have been as good without them.
Content was what you would expect from a Christian historical romance. No foul language, or anything of the sort. As far as other content goes, there is some kissing, and a guy tries to force himself on a girl, kissing her, but it is quickly put to a stop.
At the end of the book I felt like they could have shown the results of different things in the story more. I felt the ending was a bit abrupt, though not enough that I didn't enjoy it. I wanted to see more about the family after certain circumstances, and more of the staff reactions, and... Well, spoilers.
Overall, this was a fun read, and I would love to read the next book in the series.
~ a rambling author