Monday, August 23, 2010

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance presents: Masquerade by Nancy Moser - REVIEWED


About the Book:(from the publisher)

They risk it all for adventure and romance,
but find that love only flourishes in truth...

1886. Charlotte Gleason embarks from England with conflicting emotions. She is headed for New York to marry one of America's wealthiest heirs--a man she has never even 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. For Charlotte, it's a risk she's willing to take. But what begins as the whim of a spoiled 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 fairy tale amid ball gowns and lavish mansions, yet 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?

My Thoughts:

“It takes courage to flee the known and step toward the unknown. Sometimes I wonder what we are fleeing.” (p.75)


Nancy Moser takes a most creative look at the simple act of faith – stepping toward the unknown – in her latest book, Masquerade. Yet there is nothing at all simple about the plot she devised to explore this most fundamental truth! The idea of two women, one a spoiled, titled Englishwoman, Charlotte Gleason, and one who has grown up in servitude, Dora Conners, swapping identities is unfathomable! Yet Moser not only makes this masquerade believable, she makes it seem almost necessary. The result of this creativity is a tale that will sweep your imagination to a time in our country where everything seemed possible for those willing to work hard and risk everything. Was Charlotte Gleason willing? Was it possible for Dora Conners?


The answer is a resounding yes! But only in a way that Nancy Moser could imagine! Moser takes history and uses its social strata, boundaries and economic class divisions to create characters that the reader can believe and care about. By the time Dora and Charlotte complete their journey to New York it is apparent that both of them have the spirit to try the unthinkable, but they lack the wisdom to understand the consequences of their choices. The consequences, well, they must suffer those first-hand and pray – literally – for God to help them navigate the mess they have made for themselves!


I don’t know when I’ve enjoyed one of Moser’s stories more! At first I thought it would never be possible to care much about Charlotte at all, and it was pity that I felt for Dora. Yet by stories end, I was applauding both these ladies for the obstacles they’d overcome and the spirit with which they’d endured unexpected hardship. I also wound up pleasantly surprised by the depth that some of the wealthy characters hid beneath their façade, and I loved the real Miss Hathaway (you’ll have to read the story to find out who this is!) a great deal for her blunt wisdom and common sense!


There are so many things I could say about this book, but I don’t want to spoil one twist or turn in this very creative plot! Just suffice it to say that Masquerade holds enough historic accuracy to make the story authentic, enough romance to keep you guessing and enough truth about the human spirit to make you appreciate God’s precious care over each of our lives!


I’ll end with another quote from one of Moser’s memorable characters: “No one is the same person they started out to be. That’s the way of life…You didn’t plan to be here, but here you are, different from what you sought to be…” (p.360)

About the Author:
Nancy Moser is the author of three inspirational humor books and a eighteen novels, including Mozart's Sister, Just Jane, and Time Lottery, a Christy Award winner. She is an inspirational speaker, giving seminars around the country. She has earned a degree in architecture; run a business with her husband; traveled extensively in Europe; and has performed in various theaters, symphonies, and choirs. She and her husband have three grown children and make their home in the Midwest. Read more about her books at www.nancymoser.com.