Mariah has been sent away from her home and family to live in her aunt's gatehouse. Her only comfort is that her governess, Dixon, is with her. Knowing that no one in her family is to contact her, Mariah begins facing this new life with dread and loneliness. What could she possibly have done that would bring this banishment? She eventually meets her aunt, a seemingly harsh woman. When she dies, she leaves Mariah the key to a mysterious chest. But, her death also means that her step-son, Jack, is in charge. Immediately he begins charging Mariah rent, and she has to find a way to support herself or become homeless. Her love of writing (a huge taboo for women during this time) saves the day as her brother helps connect her with a publisher. During this time, Mariah also meets Captain Matthew Bryant, the man who is renting the main house to lift himself up in the world and win the hand of the woman he loves. Will he uncover her secret? What will happen between Matthew and Mariah? How will Jack Strong play into this? The biggest question of all is, will she be able to keep her identity a secret while writing?
I enjoyed reading this book and highly recommend it to others. During the story, Mariah grows from being a timid, frightened woman to one who believes in herself and her talent for writing. I also enjoyed reading about the other characters in the book, especially the children living in the poorhouse. More secrets await the reader there. This book is great for historical fiction lovers and would make a great summer read. I received my copy from Bethany House and thank them for the opportunity to read and review the book!