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Governess of Highland Hall[1]Title: The Governess of Highland Hall

Author: Carrie Turansky

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

Julia Foster is an ex-missionary who has traveled from India back to England to assist with her father’s failing health. Desperate to help her parents pay the bills, she takes on a job as governess to the four very privileged charges of Sir William Ramsey of Highland Hall. But she is not welcomed by everyone.

Placed in the awkward position of being neither downstairs help nor upstairs family, Julia struggles to find her place as she battles difficult children and a growing attraction to a man far out of her reach.

Meanwhile, Sir William Ramsey struggles to keep both his floundering family and estate from financial ruin.

I originally requested this book to review because it’s set in the early 1900’s and looked like the book form of one of my favorite shows, Downton Abbey. With it being set in the same time period and with the author using several different view points (such as the housekeeper’s, gardener’s, and estate owner’s), it’s quite obviously supposed to be a Downton Abbey spin-off.

Unfortunately, the book fell flat for me. I found the main character Julia to be very hard to relate to and similar to Mary Poppins–practically perfect in every way.

Julia always thought the right things, nearly always said the right things, and pretty much became the savior of the entire household from upstairs to down. I’d buy it if she helped change the lives of maybe one or two people. But changing the lives of the housemaid, gardener, the estate owner, his children, his sister, and his two cousins? Not as likely.

Still, there was a very funny instance of mistaken identity in the beginning that became my favorite part of the entire book, and I like how the author explored several different virtues and points of morality. I also appreciated the way she portrayed the children in her book. Usually whenever I see children in fiction, they come across as very unrealistic to me. The children in Turansky’s book nearly leapt off the pages with how real they seemed, so I give her major props for that.

However, as much as I didn’t like the book, my mom (who is also an avid Downton Abbey fan) loved it. So while I have to be honest and say that it wasn’t my favorite, who knows? Maybe it could be one of yours!

*I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for my honest review.