25 Jan 2016




PAGES: 525.

GENRE: Family & Relationships, Death & Bereavement, Literary Fiction, Women's Fiction, Religious and Inspirational, Historical Romance.

BOOK LINKS: ISBN/EAN 13:1500998567/978-1500998561
http://www.amazon.com/governess- Noorilhuda/dp/1500998567 

PLOT: In early nineteenth century English countryside, a scandal-ridden woman is hired to take care of a grieving nobleman's children. This is the story of how she mends the family and regains her life. A moving introspective character analysis of lonely people living through emotional abuse, guilt and ageism.

HEAT LEVEL/SCOPE: Written as literary fiction on women's issues and perceptions than a romance. It's a clean book that deals with dark subject matter of death, guilt and inability to move on.

FIRST SENTENCE {Chapter one}: Come, come! ..... you're hurting me....No... Make me the happiest man in the world.....you stinking witch....Stop!.....where do you think you're going?....Let me have a look, dear.... Do it....By God you'll never see him again, do you hear???..... 

MEMORABLE MOMENT {Page 79}: Her cherished tea room had been turned into a brothel. Sitting on the far side near the fireplace was The Dollymop her nephew was carrying on with, sitting with her legs on the antique breakfast table - it was a mahogany three-legged beauty and a gift from her late husband - prompting the old woman to say out loud 'Good God' and then holding her breath for a second before letting out the 'Well!'

SOURCE: Received for review from the author.

MY THOUGHTS: Having previously read Catharsis, a 'psychological thriller, mystery and suspense' novel, and learnt that Noorilhuda had also written a historical novel I had questioned whether it might be that she was better suited to historical fiction. The answer I can safely say being (in my opinion anyway) a resounding yes.

OK, so the book wasn't without its flaws. There were some typing/grammatical errors (which I am assured have been addressed). It wasn't without some 'historical' inaccuracies (ironically enough the use of the word 'Okay' being one of them) but then this is a work of fiction and as such surely some poetical licence is allowed. And the 'Americanisms' given that Jane (the governess of the title) was a nineteenth century English woman of some breeding could be irritating. BUT get past these and The Governess is actually an enjoyable read. The author speaking with some authority when it came to the central issues of love and loss, betrayal and redemption. The constraints felt by Jane (the governess of the title) because of her gender and class well observed, her struggles and triumphs (no matter how small) making for compelling reading.

Though not what I'd necessarily describe as a 'stream of consciousness' piece, the novel does rely heavily on inner thoughts and monologues. Not always something to my taste but it worked well enough here. However those who subscribe to 'less is more' when it comes to dialogue be warned you may well find the prose a tad tiresome, the lengthy introspection, the self absorption, the extended flashbacks distracting to the overall flow of the narrative.

Probably not one for the reader wanting an 'easy' historical romance. The strength in the story for me lying not so much in the period details but the social commentary, the psychological delvings into the characters (Jane in particular) and the fact that it had the makings of a great piece on early feminism.


Literary Feline said...

This sounds interesting, Tracy. I go back and forth about whether I prefer light historical fiction or historical fiction with more substance. I suppose it depends on my mood. I find Phillipa Gregory too light for my tastes and yet I adore Jennifer Robson's novels, which are definitely more light than substance. Go figure. Anyway, I am glad to hear the author uses inner thoughts and monologues well. I admit I am not always a fan, but if it's done well, I don't mind so much.

Kelly said...

I'm glad this one ended up being better than the first by the author. I think I would like it, but right now I have far too many others lined up. I can tolerate grammatical/editing errors to a certain point, but usually only if the book is excellent otherwise.

Good to have you back.

Anonymous said...

Not sure about this one, and as I have quite a backlog of books at the moment, perhaps I'll just put it on the "to be considered for purchased! list!

kimbacaffeinate said...

I love the premise of this one Tracy.

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

Americanisms? :D

This one doesn't sound bad, but it does sound like it needs some editing and some more research. Might make it spectacular then. :) Brilly review.

Suko said...

Tracy, I'm glad you're feeling better. Thanks for your honest review. I'm pleased that you enjoyed reading The Governess, overall (especially due to the social commentary).

Sandra Cox said...

That was a well thought out, well written review, Tracy.
I used to love historicals, but I seldom read them these days.
(Not sure if my first comment went through, so you may end up with two.)

Shooting Stars Mag said...

That's good you thought this author's historical fiction was better than the last book you read by them. I'm not sure it would be a good fit for me, but that's good you were able to look past some of the "flaws" and enjoy the story.

noorilhuda said...

Thank you Tracy for accepting the book and for the generous review.

Brian Joseph said...

I think that the colloquialisms and the Americanisms would drive me crazy to no end.

I tend to like books that are written in the stream of conciseness style. If it it done well. If only because it is something different.

Sherry Ellis said...

I chuckle at, "Americanisms." It would be interesting to know what people on your side of the pond consider to be, "Americanisms." :)

Sounds like a decent book.

Gingi Freeman said...

This one actually looks quite fascinating.. I like the intro teaser you posted.. hm. I will have to keep an eye out for it.. - http://www.domesticgeekgirl.com

Yvonne@fiction-books said...

Hi Tracy,

I didn't realise that you had been feeling under the weather until I caught up with a little blog hopping, but I am pleased that you appear to be fully recovered now and back in the driving seat :)

Quite a few blogs have featured this book over the past weeks and although the ratings and reviews have been mixed, the overall trend is not very promising. It seems as though this either one you love or hate!

This is one I want to make up my own mind about and whilst my review list is full to bursting right now, I am going to bookmark this one for later.

This was such an even-handed and thoughtful review, thanks for sharing :)


Stephanie@Fairday's Blog said...

I have not heard of this one, but I enjoyed your review. I like historical fiction and this sounds like one I might enjoy. Thanks for the review!

Melliane said...

despite some little things there it sounds like an interesting one and as I love HR, it could be intriguing.

ClaudineGueh@CarryUsOffBooks said...

Sounds good. I can tolerate a few typos if the story is good. Hope you're feeling much better, Tracy.

Gina R said...

Sounds like you had a good time with this one. Great review!