Tuesday 15 December 2015

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.

A few things right off: I love historical fiction and Georgian Bath is the greatest setting if there ever was one. Set in the early 18th century, it's a time period I don't have much knowledge off, so quite a few references went over my head (I looked them up), but it was nice to learn something new.

Sophia was adorable. Trapped by societal pressure and her father, she just wants to read poetry, not learn how to dance or look for a husband. She might have caught the eye of a particular gentleman but she was not interested in marriage, she wanted to know why he was acting so strangely. 

Sophia being a highwayman wasn't that much of a plot point, not as much as I expected anyway but watching her navigate Bath's social scene and get swept up in the Jacobian riots was very fun. It was all about coded messages, riots, planning subterfuge and escaping gun powder. Her father and Aunt Amelia were just awful but Sophia proved herself, proved her worth as more than something to be passed off for marriage and I was so proud of her. 

Published 12th February 2012 by Oxford University Press. 

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