Friday, September 24, 2010
Masquerade by Nancy Moser is the story of Charlotte Gleason, a wealthy English heiress who has known nothing but pampering and luxury, and her ladies' maid Dora Connors, who has known nothing but a life of service to others. Dora is only a year older than Charlotte and they have grown to be friends.
The year is 1886 and Charlotte's parents have arranged a marriage between Charlotte and a wealthy young American man named Conrad. It is decided that Dora will accompany Charlotte as she sails to America but she will go as her companion rather than her maid.
While on the ship Dora has her first taste of life as a "lady" and Charlotte gets a glimpse of how the "lower classes" live.
Charlotte is not altogether pleased with the purpose of her journey. She wants to fall in love and marry rather than marry a man her parents chose for her.
Before the ladies reach America Charlotte comes up with a plan. Dora will assume Charlotte's identity and marry Conrad while Charlotte will live out what she feels will be an adventure in a new land finding a man to love. It's not an altogether selfish plan on Charlotte's part. Dora will have a secure future as a lady.
So when they reach America Dora goes to Conrad's home and Charlotte begins her adventure. But things aren't quite what she hoped they would be. Immediately she lands in trouble. Will she change her mind about switching places?
Historically accurate and richly detailed. Ms. Moser even includes a section in the back of the book that reveals some of the parallels of her story and real life events as well as pictures and descriptions of some of the fashions described in the book.
Great characters, believable situations and wonderful story-telling make this a book you won't want to put down.
My thanks to Bethany House for my copy of Masquerade for my honest review.