Saturday, October 02, 2010

MASQUERADE by Nancy Moser

Bethany House Publishers
400 pages

It is September 1886 and Charlotte 'Lottie' Gleason and her Ladys Maid, Dora, are being sent to America, where she is expected to marry a man she has never met, to prop up her family's failing finances, and get her away from the scandal surrounding her father's misconduct.   Raised to be part of the 'Gentry', Lottie wants to have adventure, and see the world on her on, and has no wish to marry for money, she wants to marry for love.  Dora, on the other hand, has been a servant since she was 13, and wishes to better her station in life. 

On the ship, Dora meets Dr.Greenfield, she and Lottie discover that she can pass for a Lady.  It gives Lottie the idea to have Dora pretend to be Charlotte Gleason, which will give Lottie the freedom to do as she wishes. 

Dora, pretending to be Charlotte, successfully passes herself off as an English lady.  But, from the moment Charlotte, who is now called Lottie Hathaway, leaves the ship, things start going wrong.  First, someone steals all her money and jewels, then the cousin of Dora, who she planned to stay with, was no longer in New York.  And to really make things worse, what few clothes that she had sent ahead to their residence, had been stolen, so all she had left were the clothes she was wearing.

What will happen to Lottie?  And will Dora marry Conrad and live her life pretending to be Charlotte?  Will they ever find each other, again?

I loved the discription of the clothing in this story.  I cannot imagine ever having to wear anything so cumbersome as a dress with a bustle attached, or having to have  help to dress or undress.

Ms Moser has done a wonderful job in describing life in this time for both the very rich, and the  very poor.  And the pictures in the back of the book of those dresses should make any woman glad she didn't have to wear them.  I also enjoyed the letter to her readers in the back of the book, telling how parts of the story came about, even when she had different plans for those characters.

A very well written, enjoyable book.  One of the few that I've wished would continue on and on.

I was given a copy of this book to read and review.  No other compensation was given.  I'm not required to write a favorable review, and all opinions expressed here are my own.

1 comment:

NanaDiana said...

Am I imsgining things or did you do a shorter review of this book earlier? It sounds like a wonderful book and one that I would read. I love it when you read a book and you don't want it to end. Thanks for the review. The book sounds fascinating! Diana