Agnes is the youngest daughter of a country parson. When her father gets sick, she has no choice, but to find some of sort of job. The only respectable profession open to middle class, educated, proper young women was that of a governess. The role of the governess was a precarious one in Victorian society. While she was still a paid household servant and not a member of the family, her education allowed her more opportunities to be on a more equal footing with the family than the other female servants.
Agnes finds her first set of charges to be unruly and disrespectful. Their parents expect her to take complete care of their children, but refuse to step in when the children become uncontrollable. Her second set of charges are more amiable. While working for the second family, Agnes falls for Mr. Weston, a local curate.
What I have always liked about Anne’s writing is that her characters are grounded in the reality of life in Victorian England. While elements of the supernatural or using the weather to predict a character’s fate work in her sister’s novels, Anne does not need to employ these story telling techniques. Her writing is story telling at it’s best and it’s simplest. The journey of the main character from point A at the beginning of the novel to point B at the end of the novel.
I recommend this book.