Review of The Girl in the Mask by Marie-Louise Jensen

Set in Georgian England, fifteen-year-old Sophia is trapped by the limitations of living in a man's world. Forced by her father to give up everything she loves, Sophia is ordered to make a new life in Bath. By day, she is trapped in the social whirl of balls and masquerades. By night, she secretly swaps her ball gowns for breeches, and turns to highway robbery to get her revenge . . . When one man begins to take a keen interest in her, Sophia must keep her distance, or risk unmasking her secret life.

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This book hooked me from the start. I was going to read 'just a couple' of chapters before bed, ended up reading more and then read as much as possible the next day! I started off thinking that Sophia had a pretty comfortable life with her cousin Jack, then her father returns home and everything goes to shit. He burns all of her books, poetry and plays, sends Jack away to the Army and packs Sophia up and takes her to Bath, so he can get her married and out of his hair as fast as possible.

Of course, going to fancy balls, learning to walk 'properly', learning to dance and wearing the fashions is the last thing Sophia. Especially as dancing is something she is particularly bad and wearing a hoop makes it particularly difficult to get down a roof. In her normal clothes, Sophia is pretty skilled at getting around through windows, a feat that caused her to meet Bill, who tells her of his sister Jenny and asks Sophia to look out for her. 

The story is a lot more political than it seems, until I got to the end I never realised. But I was far too busy looking out for Mr Charleton, a particularly handsome character that is solidly on my list of book boyfriends! I was hoping for a little more romance than there was in the book, there wasn't much.

The ending was okay but not great. I felt like it was missing something and there was definitely room for a sequel, as certain characters could do with further developing and others could do with just turning up. Sophia and Mr Charleton's romance definitely needed a fair few more chapters too!

4/5

1 comment:

  1. :( so the momentum wasn't kept towards the end, and here I was itching to add this to my TBR pile.

    http://www.talkingsupe.com/2012/06/dead-sexy-books-by-entangled-publishing.html

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