Her excellent portrayal of Regency England put Julie Klassen onto my list of favorite authors. The Girl in the Gatehouse etched her name in stone there.
As I have come to expect from this author, The Girl in the Gatehouse was full of great dialogue that didn’t disappoint. Also, the historical accuracy floors me. Even to an ametuer history buff (me), the honest reflection of life in this era is suberb.
Mariah’s being a novelist linked me to her from the first page. Interestingly, unlike Klassen’s other books, a beguiling prologue is missing from The Girl in the Gatehouse. Yet I truly didn’t realize the absence until the day after I read the ending, so, obviously, I didn’t miss it that much! On the contrary, I loved how the beginning jumped right into the action and that all wasn’t revealed at once.
Instead, the backstory is seamlessly woven in until I was completely caught up in the story. The characters leap off the page, unique and lovely. I so enjoyed witnessing so many transformations as characters lived and loved and learned.
There are a lot of M names in this book that are significant. Mariah discovers how to forgive herself. Matthew realizes that what he wanted and fought for was beneath his nose all the time. Martin metamorpheses from a minor character into my third-favorite person in the whole story. And Maggie pulls at your heartstrings.
I read this book in the last few days of 2011 and it is the best Historical Romance I read all year.
Good thing, too, because I plan on getting a copy of Maid of Fairbourne Hall. Klassen’s books just get better and better as she goes on, so I have high hopes of Maid of Fairbourne Hall claiming the title of best Historical Romance I’ve read this year.
The story shines flawless and the mystery captivates until the very last page. The surprises to discover along the way will bring smiles and the very happy ending almost brought me to tears (now that’s the sign of a great book)!
About the Author
Julie Klassen loves all things Jane–Jane Eyre and Jane Austen. She won a 2010 Christy Award, a 2011 Midwest Book Award, and was a finalist at the 2010 RITA® Awards. Julie is a graduate of the University of Illinois. She and her husband have two sons and live in St. Paul, Minnesota.
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