Saturday, September 28, 2013

Review: The Governess of Highland Hall

I get the feeling that Carrie Turansky was highly influenced by Bronte and Austen novels when she wrote "The Governess of Highland Hall," especially "Jane Eyre." The story starts off with a Jane Eyre moment when Julia, straight from her time in India as a missionary, has an unpleasant encounter with a man on the road, not realizing he is her potential employer. Of course, she is bound to eventually fall in love with him. She soon meets William's sister, Sarah, who is busy reading "Pride and Prejudice." And (spoiler alert) there is a major fire in the latter part of the book. Not to mention William's recently deceased wife was not the best wife he could have - the product of an arranged marriage.

So, "Highland Hall" is very much so a rehashing of the Jane Eyre story with strong Christian themes and frequent Scripture references added in with care, a natural result of Julia's Christian upbringing and time as a missionary. The love story doesn't really develop like a Bronte or Austen story though, although fans of the two classic authors will absolutely love "Highland Hall." My only complaint is that the romance develops too quickly. Turansky does a great job of showing the emotions flying between the two and making their relationship very authentic, but William goes from seemingly unfriendly to friendly very quickly and both he and Julia automatically begin harboring feelings for each other right away. Turansky references the passing of deep evening conversations between the two, but never recounts any such conversations. She throws in a few other romances that develop well, although there are plenty of characters whom she switches between telling the story, some of which don't get any satisfying resolution. Still, it's a pleasant romance novel that any girl will love.

*Disclaimer: I received this book for free in exchange for my honest review of it.

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