This is the second book by Julie Klassen that I've had the opportunity to review. The first, The Silent Governess, is my favorite of the two, but this book is equally well written and full of great characters.
The book is set in the English countryside in the 1800's. Mariah lived during a time when a woman working as an author was unacceptable, yet writing is what she loved to do. Having been found in a improper situation, she was abandoned by her family and forced to live in the gatehouse belonging to her ailing aunt. There she supports herself and her faithful servant by secretly writing. One day before her death, Mariah's aunt hides a chest in the gatehouse attic and gives Mariah the key, instructing her to be sure to keep it a secret from her dead husband's son who is desperately trying to sell off anything of value for his own profit. Inside the chest Mariah discovers her aunts journals telling of the family's past.
Captain Matthew Bryant appears at the gatehouse after falling from his horse on a stormy night. Mariah is able to catch the horse and aid the Captain. Matthew decides that the aunt's estate is the perfect place to lease as he courts a young woman nearby. The friendship of Mariah and Captain Bryant develops as they both face uncertain circumstances.
Her aunt's stepson, Hugh Prin-Hallsey, forces Mariah to pay rent after her aunt dies, so Mariah is desperate for a way to raise money. She contacts her brother to help her sell her novels. Her brother goes against their father's wishes and helps Mariah. They both desperately want to please their father and reunite the family but also know that Mariah must raise the funds needed.
This book is well written and will keep you reading to the end! I give it 5 out of 5 stars. Well done, Julie Klassen!
Thank you to Bethany House Publishing Group for providing this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.