The Girl in the Gatehouse
Basing her book on several elements and characters of Austen novels and on Jane’s life itself, Klassen combines numerous characters, situations, and plotlines that are true to the Regency period. Mariah Aubrey has been banished from her family’s home because of her sexual indiscretion with the man she thought loved her. When he announces his engagement to another, Mariah’s father sends her to live with her former nanny in the dilapidated gatehouse of the estate of a distant relative. Mariah lives in seclusion and near poverty until she begins to secretly write and publish novels. The leasing of her relative’s estate to a wealthy sea captain and the existence of a poor house with its intriguing residents outside the estate’s walls add romance and mystery to Mariah’s struggling existence.
The author skillfully introduces a number of subplots involving the people surrounding Mariah and Captain Bryant, all adding humor, interest, and surprises to their eventual and inevitable love. Throughout the book, the author captures the true spirit and mindset of a Jane Austen heroine – intelligence, commonsense, integrity, humor and spirit – all combined to offer an engaging and very satisfying read. A must for any lover of well-written Regency romances.