As a blogger for Bethany House publishers I had the opportunity to read Nancy Moser's historical fiction novel, Masquerade. Set in the late 1880s in England, this book tells the story of two young women- a wealthy girl and her servant, who trade places. The storyline is actually similar to Barbie's Princess and the Pauper. In this story, two young women trade places so that the rich, yet rebellious beautiful heroine can live life as an independant free spirit and the impoverished, indentured servant girl has a chance to marry a rich suitor and live life as a wealthy heiress. While the story is well written, with authentic historical details, it would most likely appeal to those readers who enjoy Disney movies and fairy tales with beautiful princesses and happy endings. Basically, this novel is like a grown up version of a fairy tale, where truth and honesty prevail and the ending is always a happy one.
One all too common underlying belief, that is found in many romance novels and fairy tales, as well, is also perpetuated in this book: this story encourages the common antiquated, yet strongly held theme in society that a woman's self worth and value is based on a man rather than her own self worth. A woman's happiness is usually linked to a man and if she happens to be single, it is always her choice, (at least temporarily- until she comes to her "senses"). There is always a suitor around the corner as a fall-back option to provide the heroine with a life of security, whose own life is on hold, as he patiently waits for her approval and acceptance in marriage.
For those who appreciate history, the authentic details of culture and even clothing will be appreciated. In fact there are some factual background details presented in the back of the book as well as detailed information and illustrations of some of the fashion of the time period. This book would be a good choice for any reader who enjoys idealistic, happy romance stories. I recieved a free copy of this book from Bethany House publishers and the opinions expressed are my own.