I read this book immediately after finishing The Maid of Fairbourne Hall also by Julie Klassen. Both of these books I enjoyed reading immensely!
Mariah is a character with a different story than most of the characters I've read with a similar background or environment. It is true she was raised in a wealthy home with household staff that cared for her every need. But, she rises to her situation in learning those things she'd not been taught before, because she had been a "lady." I admired her resilience facing an unknown future with a well-known disreputable reputation.
The culture of Mariah's era was that a young woman had to maintain her reputation in order to marry well. There were no other options for a woman, you married and had children. A woman was provided for by her father and then by her husband. It really was a man's world. In Mariah's character and story I could better understand a young womans lack of choice and predicament.
I love England, all things England. I loved the description of the gatehouse and the manor house. I loved reading any bit of information about the countryside.
When I was first introduced to Mrs. Prin-Hallsey I did not like her repugnant attitude at all. Although as the story progressed I grew to like the mystery behind the "twinkle in her eye."
The Girl in the Gatehouse is less about Christian " fill-in words" and more about love and forgiveness displayed in action. I loved this point most of all. We are all fallen people in need of redemption, none of us are without fault--without sin. Mariah, like all of us needs the response from the Christian community of love and forgiveness.
Thank you to Bethany House and An Open Book for my free review copy in exchange for an honest review.
Published January 2011 by Bethany House
Historical Fiction/19th Century/England/Romance
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