Mariah Aubrey, as The Girl in the Gatehouse, written by Julie Klassen, brings to us the elegance of Jane Austen‘s Regency period, with a touch of Gothic mystery to enhance her slowly unfolding story. Mariah must come to terms with the impropriety which landed her in this lonely place, while providing for the rent imposed by her sneering landlord, Hugh Prin-Hallsey, in an era where female independence is an oxymoron. Further complications ensue when the estate is rented to a handsome Captain Bryant, distractedly bent on impressing another. I found myself more intrigued by the secondary figures in this novel, her asperic governess Miss Dixon, who accompanies Mariah to the self-imposed solitude of the gatehouse, and the crotchety manservant Martin, who reluctantly joins their household later in the story.
My head was turned by the beautiful cover of this light book of fiction and it’s contents proved engaging, with the caveat that the smattering of Bible verses in the final chapters left me wishing she had maintained her silence on the subject and simply written a clean secular novel. I rate it 3 stars, for its engaging tone in a tired plot, and Biblical frosting.
I was given this book by Bethany House Publishers, in return for my delightfully unhampered review, as part of their Bethany House Book Reviewers -Historical Fiction Edition. You are welcome to join!