Sunday, May 29, 2011

Review: The Girl in the Gatehouse by Julie Klassen

ISBN #: 978-0-7642-0708-2
Page Count: 391
Copyright: 2010


Book Summary:
(Taken from back cover)

Banished from the only home she's ever known, Mariah Aubrey hides herself away in an abandoned gatehouse on a distant relative's estate.  There she supports herself and her loyal servant the only way she knows how - by writing novels in secret.

When Captain Matthew Bryant leases the estate, he is intrigued by the beautiful girl in the gatehouse.  But there are many things he doesn't know about this beguiling outcast.  Will he risk his plans - and his heart - for a woman shadowed by scandal?


Mandy's Review:
(This book was provided to me by Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review)

Cover

Victorian-esque and whimsical ... a perfect cover for this wonderful captivating story.

Plot

Set in a time when the touch of a hand implied a couple had feelings for each other, this story stirs a desire inside the reader for a more romantic and simpler time.  I have always loved the language and personalities surrounding the Victorian era and this novel exemplifies everything I love about this period.

A young lady shunned by "polite" society due to being found in a compromising situation, a greedy nephew searching for any way possible to make a guinea, a Captain who has come into money and is now striving to prove himself worthy to a certain young lady ... there are many plots within this one novel, but not once does it get confusing.  The author does a remarkable job of intertwining all of the characters' pasts and presents keeping the reader interested until the very end.

Main Characters

Mariah - Beautiful, young and, sometimes to her detriment, too trusting.  She lives in the gatehouse on an estate owned by her aunt's second husband's family.  She earns wages through a way of living that is deemed improper for a lady of her time.  She is a romantic at heart and strives to help as many people as she can.

Dixon - Mariah's former nanny-turned-companion.  Dixon has never been pursued by a male in her life, but suddenly finds herself the interest of two men's attentions.  She sometimes places her loyalty to Mariah above her longing for a life of her own.  Will she accept one of her pursuers' love and lead a life away from Mariah?

Matthew - Captain of the Navy and new leasee of Windrush Court.  He is striving, in every way possible, to make himself presentable to polite society in the hopes of winning one young lady's affections and the approval of her father.  What he does not anticipate are his growing feelings for another young lady of a questionable reputation.

Overall

I absolutely loved this book ... from the cover, to the plot, to the complexity of the characters and the intermingling of them all.  If you love a romantic story reminiscent of a Jane Austen novel, then you will love The Girl in the Gatehouse by Julie Klassen.

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