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.
Some evenings, especially the rainy type that calls for a warm cup of tea, there is nothing I enjoy more than snuggling under a pile of blankets and watching a Regency period movie …until now. Instead of popping in Sense and Sensibility, I will be reaching for a Julie Klassen novel.
I don’t want their to be a misconception that Ms Klassen is ripping of Ms Austen for literary ideas-she isn’t at all. But there is something comforting in the familiarity of her inspiration (which she is very upfront about). Klassen brings freshness to much loved storylines and infuses them with her own signature style and creativity.
Mariah is a complex character who has her heart and soul stripped bare and is rebuilding her life in isolation. In her I see characteristics of Jane Austen’s life and personality fictionalized and adapted to fit the storyline. If you have seen Becoming Jane or have read any biographical material on Jane Austen, then you will be able to pick up on the similarities as well. Every character plays a pivotal role and has a story in their own right; they aren’t mere props to propel Mariah’s character development forward or a means to reach an end.
I was impressed by Klassen’s ability to sustain the the suspenseful tension surrounding Mariah’s banishment and how she cleverly enticed readers with snapshots of past events through Mariah’s writing. Nothing was rushed or revealed too soon-just a natural progression as Mariah uses capitalizes on the cathartic nature of writing as her personal form of emotional therapy. And I think that reader will be surprised that the scandal is not as benign as would be expected for a Regency era storyline.