What Happens When An Heiress and Her Maid Swap Lives?
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Source: Review Copy from Publisher
Charlotte Gleason, a privileged only child of a prominent aristocratic family, has the terrible misfortune of being forced into an arranged marriage. Due to her family’s financial difficulties and a scandal involving her father, the only way Charlotte’s parents can protect and secure her future is to marry her off to an elite and wealthy American heir. Charlotte, a young girl eager to find love and adventure, does not easily concede to this plan. It is only because of the severity of her family’s situation and the realization that she has been very self-centered that Charlotte agrees to set sail for America.
Dora Connors, Charlotte’s maid, companion, and closest friend, is looking for an adventure and romance of her own, as well. Like her mistress, Dora wants to have a marriage built on mutual love and affection. Since Charlotte is soon to be married, Dora acknowledges that she may soon be dismissed from her position. Although she is allowed to accompany Charlotte on the trip overseas, Dora is unsure about what the future may hold for her.
During the eight day voyage to America, Charlotte and Dora take matters into their own hands and attempt to control their fates. They decide to swap lives! Once they land in America, Dora will assume the identity of Charlotte Gleason, society girl, and marry the wealthy Conrad Tremaine. While Charlotte, using the alias Lottie Hathaway, will have the romantic adventure she has been longing for!
Will they be able to pull off this deception? Will they regret their decision? Will swapping lives lead them to their life’s purpose?
I greatly enjoyed this endearing and inspiring coming of age tale. The details and descriptions of life, fashions, and customs were vivid and informative. I have had the pleasure of reading several novels from Ms. Moser’s Ladies of History Series, and in all these novels I find myself transfixed by her engaging style and meticulous research. In Masquerade, I especially loved all the exciting and unpredictable plot twists. When a novel contains unforeseen mishaps, intrigue, romance, drama, and faith you can’t help but feel as if you are on an adventure of your very own! In addition, I appreciated the story’s message and the importance placed on finding yourself, discovering your life’s purpose, and relying on God’s plans for your life instead of making your own.
What I wasn’t too fond of was the abrupt ending and the fact that we were left with many unanswered questions. Everything seemed to tie up a little too neatly and there seemed to be no negative consequences for Charlotte and Dora’s deceiving masquerade. I would have liked to have found out what happened to the Tremaines and Charlotte’s family.
Nevertheless, Masquerade is a diverting and delightful coming of age tale that will be sure to warm your heart and transport you back to another time. As a romance novel, I would rate this book 3 stars; as an inspirational fiction, I’d rate it 4 stars; as historical fiction, I’d rate it 5 stars. If you are interested in visiting America’s Gilded Age and following the exciting journey of two women as they find the lives they were born to live, this is a novel I’d recommend for you!
Review copy of this book provided by Bethany House in exchange for a fair and honest review.