Masquerade, by Nancy Moser, is an enjoyable combination of “The Prince and the Pauper, Titanic, The Age of Innocence, and Far and Away.” Set in the 1880s, this historical romance centers on nineteen-year-old Charlotte “Lottie” Gleason’s transition from a child of English wealth to a victim of poverty in America. Lottie’s parents arranged for her to marry a rich New Yorker. Lottie, along with her maid and close friend Dora, is meant to travel to America to meet her future husband. During the voyage, however, Lottie decides to switch identities with Dora. Lottie hopes to secure her independence and find true love. Instead, she is thrust into extreme poverty and crime. Her fairy tale plans are transformed into a tale of survival.
Moser does a great job juxtaposing what Lottie and Dora (impersonating Lottie) experience in America. Lottie is reduced from wearing elaborate silk dresses to picking up dirty blouses from the garbage. Dora, on the other hand, transitions from plain maid uniforms to tailored gowns. Moser goes on to compare the difference in bathrooms, dinners, people, sleeping quarters, and many of things. An enlightening view of poverty and wealth is vividly illustrated in Moser’s novel.
Masquerade is an entertaining and quick read. While a few sections of the plot are a bit predictable, the majority of the book is filled with suspense. Each of the main characters is dynamic and undergoes drastic changes. While I am not a fan of romance books, I truly enjoyed reading Masquerade. I strongly recommend this book to others interested in learning about what early immigrants to America experienced. Masquerade craftily merges a love story with an accurate history lesson.
I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”