I've purchased this book manly because it is about a governess and because of the title. The story is a bit dark, set in the year of the Queen's Jubilee. Catherine and her sister are left penniless once their father passed away. Catherine is a strong woman who decides to work as a governess for a little girl who is pretty much ignored in her family. The life is of this girl was so similar to Colin's from The Secret Garden.
The book is a bit gloomy; Catherine's new life is hard and sad. She and the girl (Amy) are practically starving, the house is dark and damp; they are alone. Catherine's sister is an ungrateful selfish brat. The mystery is not really a mystery since we know from around half of the story what is going on. Mr. Ravensbourne is nice but very irresponsible.
So the heroine was someone likeable (and pitiable) but the hero was MEH.