The story centers on Mariah Aubrey, a young woman with a soiled reputation and a broken heart. She has been rejected by her father and expelled from her home. Matthew Bryant, a Captain, soon leases the estate on which she now “hides”. He is trying to prove his worth to a wealthy lady who rejected him years earlier. They experience live together, especially through events surrounding a nearby parish poor house, a mythological captain, a missing girl, and a bright red muffler.
I truly enjoyed The Girl in the Gatehouse, which is a full story written by Julie Klassen, who “loves all things Jane – Jane Eyre and Jane Austen”. I definitely could tell that those authors, time periods and styles had influences Mrs. Klassen. That was also one reason I was interested in this book. I was drawn in to the story of Mariah and her secrets –one that ruined her live and one by which she earned her income. I knew that Captain Matthew would realize that he was focusing on the wrong woman, but Mrs. Klassen did throw a few unexpected twists to heighten the moment when all was revealed.
I don’t think I’ve read a story where the secondary characters grew on me as much as Martin and Dixon! Actually, the amount of secondary character could be also viewed negatively. There was so much occurring in this one book. I really think some of the stories and character could have been filled out even more –such as the elderly twin ladies from the poor house. I felt like I should have connected more with Agnes and Amy than I did. I believe this could have been made into a two book series.
(Disclosure: I received book free from Bethany House Book Reviewers’ program. The opinions I have expressed are my own.)