Written by Nancy Moser
Review by Marina Oliver

In 1886, Charlotte Gleason leaves her comfortable home in England and sets sail for New York to marry one of America’s wealthiest heirs – a man she has never met. When her doubts gain the upper hand, she swaps identities with her maid, Dora. She wants a chance at “real life,” even if it means giving up financial security; however, what begins as the whim of a rich girl becomes a test of survival beyond her blackest nightmare.

For Dora, it’s the chance of a lifetime. She is thrust into a fairytale amid ball gowns and lavish mansions, yet she is tormented by the possibility of discovery – and humiliation. And what of the man who believes she is indeed his intended? Is this what her heart truly longs for?

The idea that we all have a unique purpose is the theme of Masquerade, as it is for all Nancy Moser’s novels. Finding that purpose is the challenge, which sees rich and spoiled Charlotte confronting setbacks for the first time in her young life as she experiences, firsthand, the poverty and hardships of New York’s immigrants. Dora is her maid and friend, but, nevertheless, the poor girl lacks confidence in her own gifts.

This inspirational novel upholds the notion of friendship, bridging the gap between the lavish lifestyle of the New York City rich and life in the slums. Charlotte’s circumstances force her to make moral decisions she’d never previously have made, resulting in a page-turner as we follow the ups and downs and ultimate transformation of Moser’s two engaging heroines.