Masquerade is the story of two women: Charlotte Gleason and her maid Dora Connors. Charlotte gets shipped off from England to America to meet her betrothed, Conrad Tremaine. She’s hesitant and uses this opportunity to plan a scheme that might just work; she’ll switch places with Dora. Upon arriving, Dora gets thrown into a world with parties, luxury, and high society. Charlotte on the other hand, gets a taste of the ‘real life’ which isn’t so fun, and unfortunate events occur that make her reconsider her idea. Both are experiencing difficulties in their new roles. Are they going to give up their charade? or continue living in what appears to be, a lifetime of unhappiness?
This book kept me up at night. I look at the clock and said to myself; ‘right, one more chapter then bedtime’. I really liked the way this book was written. The history was interesting, and rich in detail. I especially enjoyed how the dresses were described, and at the end of the book there’s a small appendix with pictures to help with the visuals. The author’s note was extremely informative and helpful, and you get an explanation on how Moser got her ideas to make this book happen. The plot was really interesting and attention grabbing, and although this book would be considered inspirational fiction (with a bit of Christian element in it) there is mention of God, and some parts do end up being a little preachy but it’s not enough to be a bother. It may get a little annoying and unnecessary at some points, but you’d have to consider, back then there was a heavy dependence on God and the Church. I’d like to think of it that way, and it does add for more historical accuracy to the plot.
The characters in the novel were excellent and Charlotte (in the book she’s mentioned as Lottie) was your typical high society girl. I did not really like her from the start. She’s seen as shallow, oblivious to anything except what she plans to do next at a social event, and throughout the book she’s really a jealous spoiled brat. She actually got me riled up towards the end, it got me thinking that she’ll really never learn her lesson. However, she does develop and mature (eventually). She becomes a much better person but whether she remains likable or not is up to the reader. I preferred reading about Dora though. The particular plot arc was much more interesting and Dora was much more likable as a character. Regarding Beatrice (Conrad’s sister), wow. I really hated her. After what Dora did Beatrice does a nice wonderful ‘thank you’ in return. I felt like giving her the slap for that moment. She was really a hateful witch. Mrs Tremaine, on the other hand, I disliked at first but she became a surprise at the end, and I ended up forgiving her for being so cold.
An engaging plot, a wonderful cast of characters and rich historical detail makes this book worth reading. If you’re willing to put aside the religious content and read it for the sake of its’ historical content pick this book up. It really is worth the read. I enjoyed this book and am glad I gave it the chance it deserves.
I give it an 8 out of 10.