...And I love all things Julie Klassen.
The Girl in the Gatehouse is the third novel I've read by this author and each has been fantastic. I actually snuck this one to work in my purse to read during my free periods instead of photocopying worksheets for my students.
The Auten-esque feel of this Regency romance starts with the beautiful cover and continues into the storyline which is about a disgraced woman who's fallen from her place in society-a recurring theme in Jane Austen books.
I would not consider this novel edgy in any way, but I was surprised by the level of disgrace the heroine endured in her backstory. I kept thinking she must be remembering things as worse than they were-but no, she really went there. In my opinion, the harder the characters fall, the sweeter the redemption, and Klassen does a great job weaving a theme of forgiveness throughout the book.
Another thing she weaves throughout the book is mystery. She crafted a tranquil, romantic setting, filled it with an eccentric cast of characters who aren't always what they appear, and turned their quiet lives into an adventure I couldn't put down.
Want more info? Here's the back cover blurb:
Mariah Aubrey lives in seclusion with her secrets. Will an ambitious captain uncover her identity...and her hidden past?
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?
Intriguing, mysterious, and romantic, The Girl in the Gatehouse takes readers inside the life of a secret authoress at a time when novel-writing was considered improper for ladies and the smallest hint of impropriety could change a woman's life forever.
Want to read the first chapter? Go HERE
(Thanks to Bethany House and to Christian Fiction Blog Alliance for providing a review copy).