Carrie Turansky has a winner with her book The Governess of Highland Hall. I had not read any of her novels before but the description of this novel enticed me to try it out.
Julia Foster seeks a governess position to help support her family who had been missionaries in India until her father's failing health forced them to return to England. As governess she is charged with the education and training of four children including two young children whose mother has recently passed away and two young ladies preparing for the coming out season. The two young ladies feel they are too old for a governess and resent her presence and her lack of experience with high society. Julia also find herself at odds with the other house staff who resent her being taken into confidence by William, the master of the house, as well as his sister, Sarah.
The Governess of Highland Hall does a wonderful job of portraying the ins and outs of the differences between the various tiers of society in pre-World War I England and how those tiers are beginning to break down. Highland Hall shows not only the titled class but also the titled class without wealth and the servants. Julia finds herself caught in the middle as the educated but penniless governess. As you may imagine, several romantic relationships ensue between various characters in this novel which cross the appropriate social lines. Adding to the plot is the fact that William must find a way to pay the inheritance taxes on Highland Hall or lose the family estate and that a wealthy marriage seems to be the only way to obtain the needed funds.
To tell anymore would give away the ending of this charming novel. While predictable in the outcome, there are multiple twists and turns in the execution which keep the reader guessing until the very end. Downton Abbey fans will enjoy The Governess of Highland Hall as will other fans of clean historical romance.
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