Monday, December 23, 2013

The Governess of Highland Hall... and Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas, everyone! May you all be blessed abundantly this week, as you celebrate the birth and life and sacrifice of our Savior, and on into the new year as well.

Here's a book to add to your holiday reading list. Maybe you can have it read by the time the bells chime in 2014.

When Julia Foster returns with her mother and ailing father from a missionary’s life in India, she must find employment to support her parents during their time of need. Thus, she becomes the Governess of Highland Hall. Although her younger two charges, Sir William Ramsey’s children, are eager to please her, the baronet’s cousins resist the necessity of having a governess as they approach the time for the social season in London. When Julia realizes her position in the baronet's household leaves her somewhere between the family and the downstairs help, will she be able to find a place to belong?

Many things about the Governess of Highland Hall appealed to me, making it difficult to know where to begin. The heart of the author shines through each subplot and character, strumming the chords of the reader’s heartstrings. The storyline appealed to me because it’s sometimes difficult to know exactly my place in life. Am I to make a huge impact on the world around me, or just try to survive the trials that come my way? Better yet, is it possible that both situations help improve the other? Every day I listen for God’s call on my life, so that I may be able to discern where He wants me to be and who He wants me to connect with while I’m there. In that way, I felt like Governess’ Julia Foster. She listened for God’s guidance about whether or not she should take on the role of governess at Highland Hall or if she should return to her mission work in India. If we follow God’s call, we can’t go wrong.

Another way we can’t really go wrong is when we offer our brotherly and sisterly love to the people around us. As Julia says in chapter five, “Love is more than a fleeting emotion. It’s a choice you make based on many things.” One of the many things—and the most important—I base my choice to love upon is the fact that Jesus Christ first loved me, sacrificing Himself in one of the most painful of deaths—being hung on a cross—so that God could raise Him from the dead, bringing eternal life to those who choose to love and follow Him in return. With a Savior willing to give up His life to save me from death, how can I choose anything other than love?

Carrie Turansky is a new-to-me author, and I’ve got to admit that she’s swiftly become a favorite. Having only read this one novel of hers, I can only say I highly recommend the Governess of Highland Hall and am looking forward with a smile to the next Turansky book I can get my hands on. I’ll be keeping my eyes out for her name when I next go book shopping. She told this tale with a sweetness that fit the time period and made me feel as if I were there in Highland Hall along with the characters. Her writing style reminds me of Jane Austen and Julie Klassen, so if you’re a fan of those ladies, you’re certain to love Carrie Turansky.

You can check out a neat video promotion for the Governess of Highland Hall here.

“Love is more than a fleeting emotion. It’s a choice you make based on many things.”

What does that quote from the Governess of Highland Hall mean to you? How can you live out your love in a way the people around you can easily see Jesus Christ shining from within?

Thank you to WaterBrook Multnomah for my copy of the Governess of Highland Hall to review.

6 comments:

  1. I really enjoyed this book :) Merry Christmas, Andrea!

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  2. Hi Andrea, Thank you for this very kind and thoughtful review. I am so glad you enjoyed the story and connected with Julia and the challenges she faced. I appreciate you taking time to read and review! Blessings and Merry Christmas! Carrie

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    1. Merry Christmas to you, Carrie! You made my job super easy. Governess was so wonderful. I shared it with my sister, who loves stories from that time period. I think she finished it quicker than I did! :) She agreed that it was brilliant. We both look forward to reading the next story in the series.

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  3. Hi Andrea, thanks for sharing it with your sister. I am so glad she enjoyed it too! Blessings and Happy New Year! Carrie

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    1. My pleasure. I hope you have a wonderful new year, too!

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