I have read and received "The Girl in the Gatehouse" by Julie Klassen for free from Bethany House. The girl would be Mariah Aubrey and woman who have been banned from contact with her family and sent to live with her uncle's widow in a gatehouse. Her neighbors on the estate would be a handsom gentleman Cpt. Bryant, Hugh a horrid cousin of sorts, and the people of the poorhouse. Her only companion is Dixon, her former nanny. In desperate need of funds, Mariah begins to write novels to earn her rent. In secret of course. She also has to figure out the mystery of the man on the poorhouse roof who is signaling passing ships (yes, I said ships), avoid her cousin, and try not to fall in love with the captain.
"The girl in the gatehouse" is written with the influence and the style of the original queen of chick lit, Jane Austen. With all the formalities of their time, the Windrush Court crew have some pretty rigorous rules to live by. What is proper has some pretty strict guidelines. Makes one wonder how there could ever be a pregnancy out of wedlock. I, however, have done my geneology and know that one can get knocked up in 1800 just as easily as one can in 2000. And Mariah had done just that. Not the knocked up part, but the rest of it. Which is what led to her scandal. She also had to keep a low profile about her writing. At a time when reading a novel wasn't exactly scandalous for a woman, it certainly was not encouraged. However, writing one was. She was a woman before her time. I like the book. I seemed to go a little long. But the appreciation for a being a woman in THIS time can not go unmissed.