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Be Kind. Do Good. Love is a Verb.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


About the book:
1886, New York City: Charlotte Gleason, a rich heiress from England, escapes a family crisis by traveling to America in order to marry the even wealthier Conrad Tremaine. She soon decides that an arranged marriage is not for her and persuades her maid, Dora, to take her place. What begins as the whim of a spoiled rich girl wanting adventure becomes a test of survival amid poverty beyond Charlotte's blackest nightmares.

As for Dora, she lives a fairy tale complete with gowns, jewels, and lavish mansions--yet is tormented by guilt and the presence of another love that will not die. Will their masquerade be discovered? Will one of them have second thoughts? There is no guarantee the switch will work. It's a risk. It's the chance of a lifetime.

This is a book that has been raved about everywhere and I was excited to read it.  Nancy Moser has certainly done her homework about the Gilded Age of New York and the plight of the immigrants.  This time in history is one that has always fascinated me.

I really liked Dora, but never could like Charlotte.  Even when she came to accept her new circumstances, she was still the spoiled rich girl and not very likeable.  I think she had a lot of potential, but it was never quite realized.  I enjoyed reading of Dora's experiences, although the Tremaine family were little more than caricatures, Beatrice especially. 

The Christian aspects are mild.  The characters do attend church and profess faith and belief in God.  But, overall the story is simply a light diversion.  I would have loved more character development and depth.  I kept getting the feeling that I was merely skimming the surface of what could be a richly rewarding story.

I thoroughly enjoyed the fact/fiction section at the end of the book.  Nancy provides extra detail and information about different parts of the book that is fascinating.   Overall, it's an enjoyable story.  I just don't think it lived up to all the hype.  Historically though, it's rich and accurate and the prince and the pauper premise is terrific.

Thanks to Bethany House for the opportunity to review this book.  You can learn more about Nancy Moser here.  You can purchase your own copy here.

Read 10/10

* * * 
3/5 Stars

1 comment:

  1. You have to quit reading and reviewing because you are just making me add to my pile and it's already too large :)

    Seriously though this does sound good and I can't wait to read it (and my library has this one, so guess what I reserved today).