REVIEW: The Girl In The Mask by Marie Louise Jensen.

16 September 2012


Publisher: Oxford University Press.
Published: 1st March 2012
Number Of Pages: 311
Book: For Review*
Format: Finished Copy.
Genre: Historical Fiction, Young Adult, Romance, 18th Century.

*****
Sophie's duty is clear: look pretty, behave well, and find a husband as soon as possible. But Sophia hates the social whirl of balls and masquerades - so under the cover of darkness, she secretly swaps her ball gowns for breeches and turns to highway robbery.When one man begins to take a keen interest in her, Sophia must keep her distance - or risk him unmasking her secret life...~From back of book.

 "Stand and Deliver! Hand over your valuables if you value your life!"

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..~From Goodreads.

I was ecstatic when this book came and landed on my doorstep..well, inside my porch..I had recently read and reviewed a Marie Louise Jensen book before after I had bought it and had loved it, (You can find my review in the ''Review Archive'') so I was curious to see if her most recent book lived up to my expectations.
I warmed to Sophia immediately. She was so likeable and...just like me! She loved to read and we see her passion for reading from the first page. Her care-free life was enviable; read, mess around with her favourite cousin, horse-back rising and pistol shooting, but the unannounced arrival of her father from the West Indies, a stern, harsh man, shatters her perfect world around her.
To punish them, Sophia's father sends Jack to the army, and drags Sophia off to Bath, to teach her how to act 'like a proper, lady'. I despised Sophia's father from the moment he first arrived. He was mean and horrible and he whipped Sophia..just because of her 'un-ladylike conduct' while he was away. My fury threatened to boil over when he burnt her books,poetry and plays, he burnt her precious books!! To me, that is the highest form of evil (!!) and I can just imagine what I would do if someone burnt all my books!..He was so stuck up and sure of himself, determined to believe that by burning her books and taking away her freedom she would eventually bow down to his ideas of a young woman's life. He wasn't proud of his daughter, or happy at all that she showed great potential as a student and was a promising learner. He put her down instead, telling her that her time studying mathematics, Latin and Greek was a time that had been wasted, targeting her as to why she hadn't done any embroidery, or watercolours; and reminding her that her job in life was to be a wife, nothing more and nothing less. All in all..he made me furious!I loved the way Marie Louise Jensen evoked her characters and I also thought the setting was written very powerfully, I could almost smell the rotten water of the Bath springs and the whiff of eggs in the stale air and the scene set before Sophia seemed to come alive before my eyes. Houses of all shapes and sizes jumbled around in a maze of bustle and activity. Little shops and well dressed, refined ladies sampling syllabub's and jellies and men and women frolicking in dirty baths. Bath blossomed before me and stayed like that, vivid and graphic until the last page was turned.

The Girl In The Mask was a poignant, exciting read that kept me hooked from page one. Filled with drama and mystery and packed with secrets, lies, uprisings and highway robberies this book is a definite page turner!!greeing to give me this book in exchange for an honest review.

12 comments:

  1. I like character-driven books which of course means I like the element of characters the most in stories. Though you didn't like all of the characters, it's still good that they made you feel something. It just goes to show how great an author is!

    Fun review!

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  2. I love historical fiction and have never heard of this one, so thanks so much for bringing it to my attention. And thanks for stopping by :)

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  3. Brilliant review! I don't really read historical fiction, from past experience I haven't really enjoyed them. But this one sounds great!
    I like the idea of a girl with high expectations secretly doing something rebel-like, hehe!
    Thanks for posting, I will look out for this one xx

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  4. I really, really enjoyed this book as I love historical fiction! I still need to try her other books! I've only read this and the Lady in the Tower. <3

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  5. I like this, very anti-debutante and a highway robber at that. Thanks for sharing!



    Talk Supe
    Reader Tribute

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  6. Not really a fan of Historical novels but I have read this book and LOVED it! Great review :D


    xxxx

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  7. I've never tried this book or heard of it but it sounds really great! I'll have to check this one out thanks for the review!

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  8. He BURED HER BOOKS?!?! I need to give that man a piece of my mind!

    I've not heard much about this book either but if it's this good, I hope to find it in my library! It has a really interesting and unique concept.

    Great review - thanks for sharing! :)

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  9. @Gellie yes it does and I like it when I don't like all of the characters, it gives a bit of variety.
    @JenRyland No problem thanks for commenting.
    @Zoe Thanks youuu!! I ADORE historical books! Why don't you? ;o x
    @Lucy I've read The Lady In The Tower too but I've also read Between Two Seas which I would recommend. :)
    @BraineTS Thanks for stopping by! :)
    @BritishMystery HOW CAN YOU NOT BE A FAN OF HISTORICAL?! o__O
    @Eileen thanks for stopping by! You HAVE to read it it's awesome!
    @Rachel OMG I KNOW! Imagine if someone burned all your books! I would KILL them! Haha xx

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  10. Great review!! I already want to read the book just knowing that she loves reading! I love historical fiction books and this looks amazing! :)

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  11. This sounds like a really fun book (the blurb had me at 'highway robbery'). I'd love to read more of her adventures as she subverts her dad and her aunt and acts as unladylike as she wants! Yeah! I'll have to see if my library carries this.

    New follower here via GFC. My blog is nickieanderson.blogspot.com

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+ thank you so much for commenting, I really appreciate it
+ recheck, I always try to reply [honest!]