Friday, April 22, 2011

The Girl in the Gatehouse

Her father had lamented ever allowing the volumes into his house, blaming them in part for the "romantic fancies" that had led to her fall.
Mariah Aubrey has been sent away in disgrace from her home and family.  Her new home is far away in an old gatehouse on the estate where her aunt lives.  To support herself and her servant/friend, Mariah secretly writes novels.  She knows if anyone finds out, her relationship with her family could be even worse.  Her living situation is none too secure because her cousin gets control of the state and he's a man with a gambling problem.  The estate is leased to Captain Matthew Bryant.  How will he react to the girl in the gatehouse?  Will Mariah's secret be safe? 

I do not want to give any spoilers, but I will say Mariah's story is the main part of the book, but there are other character and subplots as well which leads to a a very interesting novel.  This is the first Regency period novel I have read in a long time and it was a good introduction back into the genre.  Kalssen's characters are well written and realistic with the gifts and faults of real people.  She manages to give a satisfactory ending to the main story and the substories so that the reader isn't left feeling like they're missing details.  There are enough twists and turns to keep the reader guessing and the book from being predictable; I think that was my favorite aspect of the book.  The faith portions are blended into the story smoothly and do not feel preachy or added on.  I will be sure to look up Julie Klassen and check out some of her other books.  I award The Girl in the Gatehouse four out of five pieces of bacon.

Julie Klassen is an award winning novelist who lives in Minnesota with her husband and two sons.


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