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Friday, January 14, 2011

The Girl in the Gatehouse by Julie Klassen - BOOK REVIEW

The Girl in the Gatehouse is the fourth of Julie Klassen's Regency fiction. Following Lady of Milkweed Manor, The Apothecary's Daughter, and The Silent Governess, this book does not fail to deliver a very well-written story. In the author's note, Julie writes "Jane Austen fans will recognize her influence in this book. Mariah is a secret author, as Jane Austen was during her lifetime. Many authors (female and male alike) published anonymously or under pseudonyms in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries."

This book is very well researched, and includes questions for discussion, thus making it suitable for book clubs.

From the back cover: "Mariah Aubrey lives in seclusion with her secrets. Will an ambitious captain uncover her identity...and her hidden past? Banished from the only home she'd ever known, Mariah Aubrey hides herself away in an abandoned gatehouse on a distant relative's estate. There she supports herself and her loyal servant the only way she knows how-by writing novels in secret.

When Captain Matthew Bryant leases the estate, he is intrigued by the beautiful girl in the gatehouse. But there are many things he doesn't know about this beguiling outcast. Will he risk his plans-and his heart-for a woman shadowed by scandal?"

I loved this story from beginning to end. Many themes are explored, from the previously mentioned position of a writer at the time, to love, rejection, revenge, secrecy and scandal, forgiveness and loyal commitment. To say "the plot thickens" is an understatement. There are stories within the story as relationships are developed, and the reader is left with new discoveries even as the book draws to its conclusion.

This is the first I've read of Klassen's books, but it surely won't be the last. What an enjoyable read, a real page-turner.

Julie Klassen loves all things Jane-Jane Eyre and Jane Austen.
A graduate of the University of Illinois, Julie works as a fiction editor and novelist. Her book The Silent Governess won the 2010 Christy Award for Historical Romance. She and her husband have two sons and live in St. Paul, Minnesota.

For more information about Julie and her books, go to her website, www.julieklassen.com

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

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