Mariah Aubrey is banished from her home for an unknown reason and sent to live in the gatehouse of her aunt's estate. In order to support herself and her companion, she writes a novel and publishes it under a pen name. Mariah survives threats from her (step)cousin, banishment from her home and estrangement from her family. She soon becomes friends with a gentleman in residence of the manor house to which the gatehouse is attached and their friendship is on the verge of becoming more. Her little gatehouse also becomes a haven for children and adults from the poorhouse across the road as she and her companion, Dixon, welcome them and other misfits into their little 'family.'
I loved how the different classes and groups of people were brought together under the roof of the gatehouse. Despite her titled upbringing, Mariah and her companion and former nanny, Dixon welcome any and all visitors to their home.
I enjoyed this story but I must confess I was confused by the number of characters and references to past events. I wonder if it perhaps was a sequel to a previous book but at last came to the conclusion that these references were meant to create intrigue. Unfortunately, they only created confusion.
The message of God's love and forgiveness was threaded discreetly throughout this story. As Mariah's secret shame is slowly revealed, so is the truth of God's enduring love and neverending forgiveness.
I would recommend this novel to fans of Regency novels but am not sure I will read another book by this author. I had previously reviewed "The Silent Governess" and was less than thrilled by it but thought I just needed to get into the Regency Mode.
I received this book to review from Bethany House.