Book Description: 1886, New York City: Charlotte Gleason, a rich heiress from England, escapes a family crisis by traveling to America in order to marry the even wealthier Conrad Tremaine. She soon decides that an arranged marriage is not for her and persuades her maid, Dora, to take her place. What begins as the whim of a spoiled rich girl wanting adventure becomes a test of survival amid poverty beyond Charlotte's blackest nightmares. As for Dora, she lives a fairy tale complete with gowns, jewels, and lavish mansions--yet is tormented by guilt and the presence of another love that will not die. Will their masquerade be discovered? Will one of them have second thoughts? There is no guarantee the switch will work. It's a risk. It's the chance of a lifetime.
My Review: Nancy Moser has long been a favorite author of mine. I've read Mozart's Sister, Just Jane and Washington's Lady. I love the way her writing flows and she places the heroine in the story as a true, blue christian lady --- nothing trivial about the ladies in these books!
As I read Masquerade I was reminded of The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain. But instead of a young prince soon to be king trading places with a servant, a young lady of marked means trades places with her personal maid.
Charlotte or Lottie as her friends call her is tired of the sham of her life. Now her servant, Dora, longs for such a rich life but as the two soon find out with many twists and turns in this page.turner.of.a.read life is not always greener in the other person's wallet.
Dora struggles with some issues even though she wasn't born with a silver spoon in her mouth and then Charlotte, even though she has a sweet nature, is rather spoiled but doesn't think she is. Both of these young ladies "think" they are ready for others life BUT as this read points out it's good for all of us to get-outside-our-boxes ever now and then and see how the other half lives. Lottie and Dora learn that God will and can be ALL if you are willing trust Him with your very life!
I love the title of this book, Masquerade, for a masquerade can also be something that is a facade. So, many people live with a facade....some live beyond there means with fancy cars and big, beautiful houses, endless parties and travel but are empty both in the wallet and in character. Whereas, others live without many fancy things at all. You might think they are poor or that they don't care but come to find out they send thousands of dollars to missions or help many a stranger pick up the pieces of his life.
As Dora and Charlotte find out switching your life may mean others are hurt in the process. We can't be selfish and think that we know better than God what our life should be or that we know the best plan for our life. God's path is best and what others have or may not have doesn't mean they are better or richer than you.
If you're looking for a fantastic 5 star christian romance and adventure read with a twist (in my humble opinion) to Mark Twain's Prince and The Pauper then Masquerade is the book for you!
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*I reviewed this book for Bethany House Publishers*