The Girl in the Gatehouse by Julie Klassen

Title: The Girl in the Gatehouse
Author: Julie Klassen
Publisher: Bethany House
Publication Date: January 1, 2011
paperback, 391 pages
ISBN: 978-0-7642-0708-2
Available @ Amazon | B&N | Book Depository 

Summary: Miss Mariah Aubrey, banished after a scandal, hides herself away in a long-abandoned gatehouse on the far edge of a distant relative's estate. There, she supports herself and her loyal servant the only way she knows how--by writing novels in secret. Captain Matthew Bryant, returning to England successful and wealthy after the Napoleonic wars, leases an impressive estate from a cash-poor nobleman, determined to show the society beauty who once rejected him what a colossal mistake she made. When he discovers an old gatehouse on the property, he is immediately intrigued by its striking young inhabitant and sets out to uncover her identity, and her past. But the more he learns about her, the more he realizes he must distance himself. Falling in love with an outcast would ruin his well-laid plans. The old gatehouse holds secrets of its own. Can Mariah and Captain Bryant uncover them before the cunning heir to the estate buries them forever?

I was very excited to read The Girl in the Gatehouse by Julie Klassen. I'm a huge fan of Regency era novels. I could not wait to dive into this one.  The book begins with the main character, Mariah being sent away. There is a lot of mystery and suspense surrounding the reason behind this exile. Julie Klassen did a great job giving you just a lit bit of information here and there. Mariah is taken in by an aunt whom she's not had contact with in a long while. The aunt sets her up at the gatehouse. The gatehouse has been abandoned for many years.  Together with her childhood governess, Ms. Dixon, they begin to turn the gatehouse into a home. During their stay at the gatehouse, they encounter many interesting people, mainly from the poorhouse just outside the gate. There is also a mysterious man that walks the roof of the poorhouse that nobody wants to acknowledge. This is an intriguing addition to the story line. The story heats up when the estate is leased by the dashing Captain Mathew Bryant.  His sole mission in life is to win back the love he lost by flaunting his new wealth in front of his ex. Captain Mathew Bryant and Mariah form a heart warming friendship. However Captain Bryant is suspicious of Mariah's reputation. Mariah has to hold many secrets to protect herself. 
I really liked Mariah's character. She is a strong, resourceful, witty, and gentle character. She is thrown into a tough situation and is determined to make the best out of it. She is also remorseful of what she's done even to the extreme that she feels undeserving of even God's love. She is also going against society and trying to become a published author. Captain Bryant is a great character too, although he spends much of his time wanting all the wrong things. He's good at heart even thought he's a bit misguided. My favorite character is Ms. Dixon. She is a kind, loyal, no-nonsense kind of girl. 
There are many themes woven throughout this novel such as forgiveness, finding hope, and love. There are several love stories strewn throughout this book. I loved them all. I could tell from reading this book that Julie Klassen was inspired by Jane Austen when she wrote this book. I especially loved the quotes that were above each chapter. Many from Jane Austen or her novels. Many of the characters had certain qualities that I've found in Austen. In fact I think Mariah herself was modeled a little after Jane. This is an absolutely charming novel that I couldn't put down. I will definitely re-read this book again. 

Check out Julie Klassen on her website

*I received a copy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for a review. This in no way influenced my opinion. 


  1. Great review-I loved the Jane Austen references and inspirations when I read this novel.


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