Date of Award
Master of Fine Arts
Creative Writing (MFA)
Hannah Bloch’s dreams have always been larger than life. Though she’s lived in the same L—ville workhouse for as long as she can remember, she still hopes for a chance to see the beautiful world beyond. When a personal tragedy sends her into the countryside, she takes a post as a maid for the stern and reclusive Ms. Tristana Edgely, a fossil collector whose house is quite literally falling apart. At first Tristana and Hannah can’t see eye to eye, and Hannah’s only friend in the house is an old diary written by a woman named Ysolt Campbell. Over time Hannah learns to see the vulnerability that lurks underneath Tristana’s cold exterior, and begins to fall in love. But the walls of this decrepit country estate hide secrets, and as Hannah learns mores about Tristana’s connection to the absent Ysolt and as chores mysteriously start doing themselves, Hannah wonders whether she’s found her happily ever after, or fallen into an even more sinister trap. This queer steampunk re-telling of Jane Eyre reminds us that the world can be dirty and cruel, but that there’s beauty even in the filth, and love even in the hearts of broken people.
Matteson, Rebecca, "The Rusted Gate" (2021). All NMU Master's Theses. 687.
Justification for Restricting Access
I would like to eventually publish a version of this work of fiction, and if it is readily available on the internet, that could hurt my chances of finding a publisher.
Available for download on Wednesday, November 11, 2026