Worlds lie between the marketplaces of India and the halls of a magnificent country estate like Highland Hall. Will Julia be able to find her place when a governess is neither upstairs family nor downstairs help? Missionary Julia Foster loves working alongside her parents, ministering and caring for young girls in India. But when the family must return to England due to illness, she readily accepts the burden for her parents’ financial support. Taking on a job at Highland Hall as governess, she quickly finds that teaching her four privileged, ill-mannered charges at a grand estate is more challenging than expected, and she isn’t sure what to make of the estate’s preoccupied master, Sir William Ramsey. Widowed and left to care for his two young children and his deceased cousin Randolph’s two teenage girls, William is consumed with saving the estate from the financial ruin. The last thing he needs is any distraction coming from the kindhearted-yet-determined governess who seems to be quietly transforming his household with her persuasive personality, vibrant prayer life, and strong faith. While both are tending past wounds and guarding fragile secrets, Julia and William are determined to do what it takes to save their families—common ground that proves fertile for unexpected feelings. But will William choose Julia’s steadfast heart and faith over the wealth and power he needs to secure Highland Hall’s future?
My Overall Feeling of the Book:
All the blurbs in the front of the book from readers mentioned Downton Abbey as being a huge inspiration for the setting and upstairs/downstairs plot of this story. I'm a huge fan of Downton Abbey so I hoped this would live up to my expectations. At first, I found Julia to be a bit preachy and pious, but she grew on me more and more throughout the book. Sir William was the perfect hero who has struggles to overcome (with Julia's help, of course!) I loved the side stories. Especially Sarah's (William's sister). The side stories were the perfect distraction from the main story. They were also the perfect length and I didn't find myself skipping over them. By the end of the book, I am now excitedly awaiting Book 2 of the Edwardian Brides!
A Brief Excerpt:
Lifting a silent prayer for courage, she opened the door and ran a cross the hall. Glancing to the right, a shaft of fear pierced her heart. Just a few feet down the hall, flames leaped up the wall and across the ceiling.
First, I must mention a pet peeve. Why do they always put the sales stickers on the front of a book just across the face of a person? Why? I had to complete "surgery" to get the sticker off so that I could enjoy the cover.
Now, the cover itself. I really, really like the picture of "Highland Hall" in the background. I love old, majestic buildings.
The colors are rich and very beautiful. I also really like the style of the title. Very pretty.
~The beginning was a bit slow to develop but stick with it. It is very worth it!