Friday, November 22, 2013

The Governess of Highland Hall

Book description:  "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's two teenage girls, William is consumed with saving the estate from financial ruin.  The last thing he needs is the distraction of a 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 over the wealth and power he needs to secure Highland Hall's future?"

My review:  I absolutely loved this book! Carrie Turansky could quickly become another favorite author if the rest of her books are as good as this one.  Ms. Turansky did a great job inviting the readers into the lives of both the servants and the family with the governess stuck in between.  While I enjoyed the unfolding story of William and Julia, I also really enjoyed William's sister Sarah and her story.  This is a book full of drama, customs, and romance.  If you want a book with drama and romance upstairs and downstairs, this is the book for you!  I received a complimentary copy of this book from Multnomah Books in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Plain Peace

Book description:  "Anna loves the grandfather who raised her, but his strict adherence to the Ordnung is scaring away any boy who might be interested in her—except newcomer Jacob.
In normal circumstances Anna Byler would have her choice of any of the young men in her Amish community. But because of the strict rules enforced by her grandfather, the bishop, the available suitors are afraid to court her. Then handsome Jacob Hostetler moves to Paradise and decides Anna is worth the challenge.
Anna sees that the bishop’s legalism is dividing the community and risking the lives of its members—but her grandfather doesn’t. When she is forced to deception in order to pursue her dream of marriage and family with Jacob, Anna feels her own faith slipping. If only she could get her grandmother to help her stand up to the bishop. But Mammi is keeping secrets of her own.
Anna wants to honor her grandparents, the two most important people in her life, but her heart is divided by the rules that guide their little Amish community and the growing love she has for Jacob. How can she be true to both?"

My review:  This is another book in the "Plain" series by Beth Wiseman.  While it is not necessary to have read the other books, it did help to understand some parts of the story a little better to have read them.  I am coming to realize that there is no "usual" Amish book.  There seem to be so many different ideas among the Amish way of life, that I was not surprised by the many different circumstances in this book.  I will have to say though, I got quite a chuckle out of Mammi and her secrets.  Her secrets added an unusual twist to the plot that I did not see coming.  Anna and Jacob's story added a bit of humor to the book as well.  I enjoyed reading this book, and it gave me a desire to go back and reread the other books in the series in order to refresh my memory on some of the other characters.  I received a complimentary e-copy of this book through Booksneeze in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Friday, November 15, 2013

A Christmas Gift for Rose

Book description:  "Inspired by a true story, A Christmas Gift for Rose is a heartwarming novella of sacrifice and deep love.
Born in the midst of the hardships of the Great Depression, Rose grew up in Berlin, Ohio, in the arms of a loving Amish family. But as she prepares to marry, she's thrown into confusion when she learns the truth of her birth. She was born Englisch and abandoned when the family moved on in search of work.
Was she meant to be Amish or would she have been better off growing up with her own kind-Englischers? And was her intended's gift of discovering her birth family given out of love or fear?"
My review:  This is a novella that did not leave me thinking there should be more to the story.  I really enjoyed A Christmas Gift for Rose.  The author, Tricia Goyer, is a favorite of mine, and this is a story that did not disappoint.  She writes this book in such a way that brings the characters and story to life.  I think having daughters of my own makes it especially poignant.  The struggles that each character faced were true-to-life, and the emotions that were carried with those struggles made the story even more compelling.  A quick read, this book will leave you thinking about these struggles and the responses to them.  How would I have responded if I were in a similar situation?  I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from Booksneeze in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.