Skip to main content

A Refuge at Highland Hall- Carrie Turansky

Edwardian Brides #3
October 2015, Waterbrook Multnomah 338 Pages,
Print, ebook and Audio  

In this third and final book in the Edwardian Brides Series, you’ll be swept away to England and France in 1915 as the Ramsey family and their staff and friends face the dramatic challenges and losses of World War One, yet they also experience the hope and triumph that comes as they put their trust in God to carry them through. Penny Ramsey helps the family welcome a group of orphaned children to Highland Hall, but she soon discovers caring for them is more difficult than she’d expected. 
She writes to Alex Goodwin, a daring British pilot, who chases German zeppelins across the sky over the Front Line in France, and longs for the day she will see him again. You’ll be delighted by two pure and heartwarming romances: Penny and Alex, and Lydia Chambers and Marius Ritter, a lady’s maid and a prisoner of war. But most of all I hope you’ll be inspired by the characters’ examples of trusting God through the trials they face.

Fans of “Downton Abbey” will find many of the same elements in this series: A wealthy, aristocratic family living on a large English country estate with romance, conflicts, and family drama; and loyal servants with troubles and heartaches of their own.

I enjoyed this final instalment in the Edwardian Brides trilogy rather more than the last book, which I found too ‘preachy’ and clichéd. It was the story of Penelope, the youngest of the two Ramsey sisters, and set in the midst of the First World War- in the summer of 1916, to be precise. Some other beloved characters also return, including Lydia, the faithful servant of the family and close friend of the Ramsey girls, as well as their young cousins John and Milly, now in their teens.

There is conflict and humour, with Katherine and her husband’s brood of adopted children, whom they bring to Highland Hall to escape Zeppelin raids on London. There is also a chance of love for Lydia, in the form of a man working in the grounds, incarcerated in a local prison camp because of his family’s German roots.
Character’s feelings and relationships are developed slowly and with sensitivity, and not too much ‘instalove’ mushy romance. Personally, I prefer stories that follow and develop characters and their stories over time even after they are married, then traditional romance tropes. Of course, there is some of that, but it’s not overwhelming.

The historical details seemed to be accurate, and those about the early pilots who fought in the First World War were fascinating. Aside from a few Americanisms as I observed in some of the last books, I had no real complaints with this one. Another reviewer did mention a loose end or two that were not tied up with a couple of the characters, and that might bother some readers, but I don't want to give away too much.
The Christian messages and theme seemed to be woven well into the story, and come to the characters quite naturally considering their backgrounds rather than seeming forced or unrealistic. Generally, this was a satisfying conclusion to the series, and a solid work of historical fiction reminiscent of Downton Abbey.

I received an e-book edition of this title from the publisher via Edelweiss for review. I also purchased the audio version of my own volition. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions expressed are my own.


Popular posts from this blog

Blog Tour and Giveaway: The Perfect Bride by Debbie Lynne Costello

Was C.S Lewis racist?- Exploring 'The Horse and His Boy'

In recent years some people seem to have made much of certain content in some of the books of C.S Lewis 'Chronicles of Narnia' series. Specifically 'the Horse and His Boy' which was the 3rd book chronologically, and 'The Last Battle' which was the 7th and final book.
Both these novels feature characters who hail from the land of Calormen (see map below right) a hot and arid country to the South of Narnia, known as the Calormene. These people are dark-skinned, and many wear turbans or headdresses and carry scimitars, in contrast to the generally fair-skinned Narnians.

These Calormenes have been the cause of much controversy as people have concluded that they are obviously based upon Arabs or other Middle Eastern people, and their religion seems to resemble Islam in some ways.
C.S Lewis, best known today as the author of the 'Chronicles of Narnia' has been subjected posthumously to much criticism for his inclusion of dark-skinned Asian like people in the Na…

Blog Tour and Giveaway: A Song Unheard by Roseanna M. White

Shadows Over England #2 January 2nd 2018, Bethany House, 418 Pages Print, ebook, and audio 

Willa Forsythe is both a violin prodigy and top-notch thief, which makes her the perfect choice for a crucial task at the outset of World War I—to steal a cypher from a famous violinist currently in Wales.

Lukas De Wilde has enjoyed the life of fame he’s won—until now, when being recognized nearly gets him killed. Everyone wants the key to his father’s work as a cryptologist. And Lukas fears that his mother and sister, who have vanished in the wake of the German invasion of Belgium, will pay the price. The only light he finds is meeting the intriguing Willa Forsythe.

But danger presses in from every side, and Willa knows what Lukas doesn’t—that she must betray him and find that cypher, or her own family will pay the price as surely as his has. 
Click here to purchase your copy!

My Review 
I think I enjoyed this book more than that last one. The plot was strong, suspenseful and full of intrigue in…