The Girl in the GateHouse is the fourth book by author Julie Klassen, and the second I have personally read. Both this novel and “The Silent Governess” feature plots that harken back to the regency time period. If you love writers such as Jane Austen both of these books will be a real treasure. In the Girl in the Gatehouse, the main character Mariah Aubrey has hidden herself away – living in the gatehouse of a distant relative. Due to bad choices she has ruined her reputation previously and now supports herself and her loyal servant by writing novels while secreted away in the gatehouse. In this time period novel writing is considered wrong for proper young ladies and could cause further scandal for her family if she is found out.
When her relative dies and the estate is leased by a recently retired naval Captain her hiding place, and her livelihood are in jeopardy. This novel is very well written, full of strong characters and period detail. Overall this is more of a romance than a mystery, but more than one mystery is solved during the plot; strongly driving the reader to keep reading! Anyone who is a fan of historicals, particularly those of the regency period will LOVE this book (probably mostly women).
Book Cover Review
In the author’s notes at the back of the novel, the author reports that the photo of the gatehouse used on the cover design is the very one she had in mind while writing the novel – so no question why it so fits the interior writing. (This gatehouse is located in Deene Park in Northamptonshire and was once the country residence of Lord Cardigan, the “Homicidal Earl” who led the Charge of the Light Brigade.) The well-manicured lawn and the period day-dress being worn by our heroine’s representative on the cover are well chosen. Doesn’t she look like she just stepped off the set of Pride & Prejudice, or Sense & Sensibility?
The spine and front cover are extremely well suited for the correct market. The back cover is a little less impressive, though it does carry through with the lavender color found in the heroine’s dress and the floral, scroll-like embellishments found on both the front cover and spine. However, the copy writing and endorsements are strong and would still draw in readers.
In general, this novel is well-written, the cover is targeted to the right audience, and also well-designed. (Now I may have to go watch Pride & Prejudice or read my Jane Austen novels again … Well done!)
*This novel was supplied to me by the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance for review.