Friday, January 23, 2015

The Daughter of Highland Hall- Carrie Turnasky

My Rating: 3 stars

Description: Fans of Downton Abbey, Jane Eyre, and Pride & Prejudice will enjoy this pure and inspiring romance taking place in Edwardian England amid a clash of cultures and changing times.

Eighteen-year-old Katherine Ramsey travels to London with her family to make her debut into society and hopefully find her future husband. Her overbearing aunt insists she must secure a proposal from a wealthy young man who is in line to inherit his father’s title and estate. But Katherine questions her aunt’s plans when she gets to know Jonathan Foster, a handsome medical student and strong Christian who is determined to protect the poor and vulnerable in London’s East End. When a family scandal puts a damper on Katherine’s hopes for the season, she has time to volunteer with Jonathan, caring for children in one of London’s poorest areas, and romance blossoms. Katherine’s faith grows and she begins to envision a different future with Jonathan. But when Katherine’s work in the East End puts her in danger, Jonathan distances himself from Katherine to protect her. A wealthy suitor reappears, and Katherine must choose which path to follow.

My Thoughts: The Daughter of Highland Hall is a well written story with a compelling hero. I honestly liked Jon and his parts of the story. As well, his sister Julia was someone I enjoyed reading about. Unfortunately, I did not care for the heroine.

Kate is a well-to-do young woman who seems to want all the trappings of society, while simultaneously hating the trappings of society. She despises the rules and the etiquette, but wants to be set in the thick of it and find a husband who follows all these rules. Really, the only thing I could figure that Kate wanted from society was money and status, yet she is supposedly humble enough to make friends with her maid and spend time in the East End. She seemed more spoiled, wanting everything while sacrificing nothing and it made for a wishy-washy character without any real direction.

While Jon was mature enough to weigh what he wanted and to make sacrifices for it, his judge of Kate's character seemed idealistic. He at times told her that she was not self-centered or the kind of person to give up. Yet she put attending a party above helping a friend rescue her sister and consistently gave into her aunt's desires because to do so was less embarrassing.

When Kate was not attending a party or other social event, I enjoyed the story. I would have liked for the search for Helen to have taken up more of the book as well as the time spent in East End, however most Edwardian novels seem to take place in the ballroom.

From other reviews, it sounds as though the first book, about Julia and William, might have had a better storyline. It would be interesting to find out.

I received this book from the publisher, Multnomah, in exchange for an honest review.

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