The Girl in the Gatehouse is a Christian Regency romance novel and I was not aware of that when I purchased it. I don’t really read Christian novels. I consider myself Christian, but not in the traditional religious sense.
This book is not preachy at all and I did appreciate that very much. There are messages about forgiveness and God’s unconditional love and I was more than fine with that. I do know that forgiveness is very important in order to move on with life in a healthy fashion. I also know that God’s love is unconditional. Only humans put conditions on it.
The author, Julie Klassen, is obviously a big fan of Jane Austen. You can easily detect that in her writing. In this book the hero, Captain Matthew Bryant, reminds me of Captain Wentworth in Jane Austen’s Persuasion. There are other Jane Austen type characters in this book, which you will recognize if you are a Jane Austen fan.
The heroine, Miss Mariah Aubrey is banished from her family home and sent to live in an old gatehouse with her former nanny, whose name is Dixon (like in Gaskell’s North & South). Miss Aubrey was banished because of some impropriety she was involved in with a young man she thought intended to marry her. Miss Aubrey was totally misled by the rogue suitor, and in those days it was the female who suffered scandal while the male got off without his reputation being marred.
Captain Matthew Bryant is a delightful hero who thinks he is in love with another young woman whose love and attention he has been trying to win for years. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to guess that Miss Aubrey is his true love. It is only left for Captain Bryant to realize it.
I had a challenging time getting through this book because it has too many subplots and mysteries going on at the same time. The book, at three hundred and ninety-one pages was about one hundred pages too long for me. I do not have a problem reading thick books, but I don’t think that Regency romances warrant being more than three hundred pages. I found myself just wanting the story to end already by the time I got half way through. When I finally reached the last chapter I hardly cared anymore how the book was going to end. It was simply too drawn out for me.
It took me two weeks to get through this book.
At the same time that I purchased this book I also purchased another book by Julie Klassen titled The Tutor’s Daughter. I do look forward to reading it, but I will hold off on that for a while since it is another thick book of four hundred and five pages.
The Girl in the Gatehouse is a cute book to read, just too long and had too many subplots going on that I was trying to keep track of.