Masquerade by Nancy Moser is inspiring and moving historical fiction about Gilded Age New York. Charlotte Gleason has lived all of her nineteen years in blissful ignorance of the troubles of the world around her. Spoiled by her parents, she has beautiful clothing,a group of well-heeled wealthy friends, and servants to care for her every need, especially personal maid, Dora who has been her best friend since she was twelve. When her parents face scandal and a reduction in their finances they order her to New York to marry into the noveau riche Tremaine family to secure her future. Aboard the ship to America with Dora, Lottie rebels against their plan and determined to marry only for love, she switches places with Dora. Dora will become Charlotte and marry Conrad Tremaine, and Lottie will seek her fortune in the city. Her dreams of adventure are quickly shattered and she is forced to face abject poverty and homelessness, but how can she take away Dora's chance at happiness? Both young women must determine if they can build a future on a lie. Moser's writing is always intelligent and engrossing, and this novel has far more depth than the cover reveals. Lottie discovers what really matters to her and that she will only achieve her dreams by relying on God, while Dora must choose between marriage to a good man who is wealthy beyond her dreams or a man whose trust she has destroyed but fills her heart. But it's more than a romance, it's a story of woman discovering themselves and learning what real hardship means. It's a historical romance with intelligence and heart and faith.
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