Friday, April 13, 2012

The Girl in the Gatehouse by Julie Klassen

Miss Mariah Aubrey, banished after a scandal, hides herself away in a long-abandoned gatehouse on the far edge of a distant relative's estate. There, she supports herself and her loyal servant the only way she knows how--by writing novels in secret.

Captain Matthew Bryant, returning to England successful and wealthy after the Napoleonic wars, leases an impressive estate from a cash-poor nobleman, determined to show the society beauty who once rejected him what a colossal mistake she made. When he discovers an old gatehouse on the property, he is immediately intrigued by its striking young inhabitant and sets out to uncover her identity, and her past. But the more he learns about her, the more he realizes he must distance himself. Falling in love with an outcast would ruin his well-laid plans.

The old gatehouse holds secrets of its own. Can Mariah and Captain Bryant uncover them before the cunning heir to the estate buries them forever?

(from Goodreads)

my thoughts:

A very light and easy Regency romance with obvious nods to Jane Austen's Persuasion and Mansfield Park. The Girl in the Gatehouse is the perfect kind of book when you're in the mood for a charming tale of romance with a bit of mystery.

The story pulled me in right away and I was intrigued to learn the circumstances surrounding Mariah's scandal. Since a simple breach of propriety in those days could cause a person to be shunned by society, I felt compassion for her as she and her companion, Miss Dixon, settled in all alone in a cold, deserted gatehouse on her aunt's estate.

There's plenty of drama and angst in the manor house on the estate between the heir and his stepmother, as well as a lively cast of characters at the poor house across the road. Add in a handsome sea captain staying at the manor and you have a fairly predictable romance but there are many secrets and surprises that add a dash of spice to the story. Overall, an enjoyable inspirational tale of the power of forgiveness.

3/5 stars

Title: The Girl in the Gatehouse
Author: Julie Klassen
Bethany House Publishers
391 pages
genre: Christian historical romance


Svea Love said...

I have been wanting to read this one for a long time. Hopefully I will get to it this summer! Glad to hear it's an enjoyable read :)

Joanne said...

Hello, Svea -- So glad to hear from you as it's been a while! Yes, this is a good book for a summer afternoon. Hope you enjoy it, and thanks for stopping by!

Mystica said...

Like the sound of this! Jane Austen with a touch of Georgette Heyer.

Staci said...

I really enjoy Klassen's books and this is one that I think I checked out from the library!

Joanne said...

Mystica - exactly!

Staci - Cute book for a quick, light read.

Yvette said...

This sounds like something I would enjoy, Joanne. I'm making note of it on my ever-expanding list. I'm not familiar with the author, but that doesn't mean much these days. :)

Valerie said...

Have you read any of Julie Klassen's other books? I've also read the Girl in the Gatehouse, and while it was good, I actually enjoyed Klassen's "The Apothecary's Daughter" and "The Silent Governess" quite a bit more.

She is definitely an author I keep my eye on. I really should track down the couple books by her that I haven't read yet.... :)

Joanne said...

Hi, Yvette -- I've heard good things about Klassen...she's more in the Christian fiction area.

Welcome, Valerie! This is my first Klassen book, but I will certainly be trying more of her books. I'll make note of The Apothecary's Daughter and Silent Governess. Thanks for the recommendation!

Unknown said...

So glad you enjoyed this one!

Favorite Period Dramas

Mount TBR

Joanne's to-read book montage

On a Highland Shore
A Light on the Veranda
The Queen's Vow: A Novel Of Isabella Of Castile
The Edwardians
Maisie Dobbs
Howards End
Lady's Maid
Instruments Of Darkness
When Maidens Mourn
Where Shadows Dance
What Remains of Heaven
Where Serpents Sleep
Why Mermaids Sing
When Gods Die
Before Ever After
The Sugar Queen
Garden Spells
After the Night

Joanne's favorite books »