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Saturday, November 1, 2014

The Daughter of Highland Hall

I've read several of Carrie Turansky's books and I find she would have to go a loooooooooooooooooooooooooong way to disappoint me. She has researched her books well, she knows the period of history she writes, she develops her characters with depth, and she provides just enough suspense to keep the reader engaged. Her denouement is satisfying and pleasing. In other words, she writes a good book. I will admit that I got a bit confused about a couple of the characters, but it was my own confusion, not in her writing. I forgot for a bit who was who.

As we left the Governess of Highland Hall, Julia Foster is engaged to William Ramsey and is becoming, with William, the guardian of Katherine and Penelope Ramsey. They are in London now, getting ready for Katherine (Kate)'s debutante season. Aunt Louisa has joined the group to make sure that Kate makes a good impression in all the right circles and makes the right match for a husband. Louisa is the character in every book that the reader loves to hate, she's vituperative, condescending, critical, and thunderous about all of her opinions. She doesn't mind whom she brings down unless it will put her in a bad light in society. What she wants for Kate is for her to make a connection that will put her in the upper echelons of society. Louisa doesn't care a whit about love and believes that Kate shouldn't either.

As the novel progresses, we see Kate maturing and becoming more compassionate. Her values take a huge shift in what she wants out of marriage as well as how she wants to live her life. When she meets Julia's brother, Jon, she sees a man who wants nothing more than to help people. In deciding to help her ladies' maid, Lydia, she sees a world she never knew existed--beginning with three waifs--Jack, Ruth, and Susan--who've lost their parents and live on the street. In spite of Louisa's machinations, Kate falls in love with Jon, instead of the "more suitable" Edward.

There are many tender moments in this book, including Kate's awakening to the needs of the world. The Daughter of Highland Hall is a great book. Five Stars and two thumbs up!

Multnomah Books provided this novel in exchange for my honest opinion and review. No other compensation was offered or received.

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