Governess of Highland Hall

Title:  The Governess of Highland Hall (Edwardian Brides)
Author:  Carrie Turansky
Pages:  314
Year:  2013
Publisher:  Multnomah Books
This is a story set in England in the year 1911.  This is a time of change as horse and carriage is being replaced by automobile and candles with electricity.  Change has come to Highland Hall.  The former owner has died with no male heir, so Highland Hall is inherited by William Ramsey, a second cousin.  Not only does he inherit Highland Hall, but he also inherits the care of his cousin’s two teenage daughters and a mountain of debt.  William’s cousin wasn’t much for keeping up the estate and it has fallen into disrepair.  William also has two young children of his own from his marriage, although his wife has been deceased for three years.  William decides to hire a governess for his children and his cousin’s children.  William is concerned that if he loses Highland Hall, society will deem him a failure and after his wife’s infidelity became known, he doesn’t think he can take another public scorning.  If Highland can be saved, his children’s future in society will be assured.
Julia Foster has just returned from serving in India as a missionary for 12 years with her parents.  Her father’s health has deteriorated, necessitating a return to England for medical care.  Julia must find a job to support herself and her parents.  She applies for the job as governess at nearby Highland Hall and gets the job.  Her two teenage charges are rebellious and rude, thinking they are too old for a governess.  They want nothing to do with Julia.  Julia, however, soon wins over William’s young children, Andrew ad Millie.  The leaders of the household staff disdain Julia, but some of the lesser ranked staff become friends with her as well as William’s sister, Sarah.
As the deadline looms for the death duties to be paid to the government, William is running out of options and money.  His sister-in-law provides him with a solution to his financial problems:  Marry a young American socialite who has come to visit.  Can William bring himself to marry again after his disastrous first marriage?  He doesn’t love this woman, but isn’t it worth his sacrifice to save Highland?  Julia decides her love for William must remain undeclared and leaves Highland so he can marry for money and a secure future.  She decides to return to India and continue her missionary work, leaving her heart behind in England.  Will William ever realize the true wealth he has let slip through his fingers?
This story was very predictable, but still worth reading.  Julia’s faith lived out in her life every day was inspirational.  She trusted God every step of the way.  I didn’t like the main male character, William.  He was too uncaring and aloof.  I don’t think he would ever trade his social position to marry a governess.  His values were temporal and not eternal.  The relationship between Julia and Sarah was so very loving as two sisters in Christ.  Her devotion to William’s children and teaching them biblical truths was another example of her living her faith in action.  However, there was no real suspense or action in the plot.  While I’m not sorry I read this book, it is just average.
My rating is 3 stars.
Note:  I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book.  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.  Other reviews can be read at  Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at
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