I can always count on liking any book written by Julie Klassen. The first one I read was The Apothacary's Daughter. I bought it years ago using a gift card at Barnes & Noble, not knowing the first thing about the book or it's author. I don't usually do that. But boy was I pleased. As I was with her newest one, The Girl in The Gatehouse.
The Girl in The Gatehouse had a very complex plot. So much so, that if I even began giving you an idea of what the story was about, you really wouldn't have the first idea unless I went on and on and on. Most of the plot worked well together, but there were times when I thought so much "chance" between such a small group of people was unlikely. I also felt that because of this complexity, it seemed to go on for another sixty or so pages in order to tie up all the loose strings and getting everyone in just the right place for 'The End.' But I can understand how difficult it is to get characters in just the right place and frame of mind at the end of a novel - it's something I struggle with myself.
I really wish more authors of Christian Historical Fiction had the guts to write like Julie Klassen. Too many of them candy-coat what society was like in previous eras.. as if people in general only became sinful in the last fifty years. This world is a sinful place - and has been since Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit in Eden. The controversial issues we face today are not new and I think it's interesting to see the different ways society has dealt with them in the past.
Even though there were a lot of them, I really enjoyed getting to know the characters and the difficulties they were facing throughout this book. It was written primary through the eyes of either Miss Mariah Aubrey, who lived in the gatehouse or Captain Matthew Bryant, the young man who was leasing the estate the gatehouse belonged to. I think because of the personality and circumstances of Mariah, it would have been a good chance for the author to write a book from first-person point of view, though I did enjoy it very much the way it is.
I borrowed The Girl in the Gatehouse from my community library and gave it 4 STARS.