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Welcome, friend! Relax & rest awhile, if you please. I'm an ordinary girl, a follower of Christ, mama to Gabriel, & wife to Evan. Here in this little space of the online world, I share all manner of bookish things, including full content reviews, writerly snippets, encouragement for everyday life, and a whole collection of names & their meanings.

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Book Review | The Governess of Penwythe Hall

The Governess of Penwythe Hall
The Cornwall Novels
Sarah E. Ladd

Thomas Nelson | April 16, 2019
Christian Fiction, Romance

Cornwall was in her blood, and Delia feared she’d never escape its hold.
Cornwall, England, 1811Blamed for her husband’s death, Cordelia Greythorne fled Cornwall and accepted a governess position to begin a new life. Years later her employer’s unexpected death and his last request to watch over his five children force her to reevaluate. She can’t abandon the children now that they’ve lost both parents, but their new guardian lives at the timeworn Penwythe Hall . . . back on the Cornish coast she tries desperately to forget.

Jac Trethewey is determined to revive Penwythe Hall’s once-flourishing apple orchards, and he’ll stop at nothing to see his struggling estate profitable again. He hasn’t heard from his brother in years, so when his nieces, nephews, and their governess arrive unannounced at Penwythe Hall, he battles both grief of this brother’s death and bewilderment over this sudden responsibility. Jac’s priorities shift as the children take up residence in the ancient halls, but their secretive governess—and the mystery shrouding her past—proves to be a disruption to his carefully laid plans.

Rich with family secrets, lingering danger, and the captivating allure of new love, this first book in the Cornwall Novels series introduces us to the Twethewey family and their search for peace, justice, and love on the Cornish coast.

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WARNING: Possible Spoilers
I was provided a copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review.

{The Basics}
Looking back, this is probably only the second of Mrs Ladd's novels I've read, but I've loved them both so much!  The characters are relatable, the stories are mysterious & intriguing, and I love the imagery of the English countryside & surroundings.  Give me anything set in Cornwall & I'll probably read it.  :]

Delia's character endured much heartache & loss, but through it all she is so selfless & caring, seeing her purpose as a governess for the sake of the children under her charge, but loving them more than her position.  She still has her flaws, she still makes assumptions without all of the information, but in the end, it's her love of the children---as well as the promise of another love---that sees her through.

Jac is quite an impulsive man with quite a vision for the estate he's inherited.  So much could go wrong---he must learn it is not he who controls the weather or the fruit trees & the growing produce.  Just when things are barely starting to look up, he is surprised by the presence of his late brother's five children & their governess & tutor.  His brother's death was greatly unexpected, & becoming the guardian of his children even more so.  But as time goes on & hurting hearts learn to heal & trust, Jac comes to realize he would do anything for his nieces & nephews in his care.

{Spiritual Content}
This is a Christian novel.  Characters pray & turn their trust back to the One who DOES control all things.  They learn to rely on the strength of their God & not solely on themselves.  Those whose faith was set on the back-burner come to find it renewed, and in doing so discover peace in the midst of any storm.

A large smuggling ring has a wide reputation in all of Cornwall as being dangerous.  Something happened years ago where men died, at least one washes up on the shore barely alive, only to die later from his wounds.  There are gunshots, knife wounds, and minor injuries.  One man is said to have been shot & killed, while another was wounded by a knife to the shoulder.  A man subtly threatens a woman for the knowledge he believes she possesses.  A boy is kidnapped. 

{Language // Alcohol & Drugs}

A ball is hosted on the Penwythe grounds & quests share typical party beverages.  A cider mill is being constructed in order to bring more business to the estate.

{Romantic Content}
Delia is a widow, and does not expect to marry again.  But of course, when she begins to fall for Jac (and he for her), you know they're goners.  Their relationship is rather stiff at first until they begin to trust one another for the sake of the children.  Delia is always encouraging both the children as well as Jac to form relationships and to establish roots with their uncle's estate.  Even when she doesn't agree with Jac's ways, or doesn't understand his methods, she is a great encourager to the children on his behalf.  Both Delia & Jac embrace a time or two & share kisses.

I truly enjoy these types of novels.  The mystery was so very intriguing! The characters were marvelous---I absolutely loved the children!---and of course we traversed a bit of England as well, so ya know.  All in all, in my opinion, it was an easy, clean read & one I could see myself picking up again in a couple years.  :]

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Ages: 15-16+


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