Charlotte Gleason learns that her family is about to take a downturn in society. With no money and a scandal brewing with her father, she is about to be sent to America to marry a rich man. Charlotte has always had her own way and she insists that she will only marry for love. When her mother becomes ill, the decision is made for Charlotte's maid Dora to accompany her to New York instead of Charlotte's mother. During the passage across the ocean, Charlotte hatches a plan to swap identities with Dora, thus giving Dora the chance to live the life of a rich heiress. Things don't go as planned and Charlotte has a lot of obstacles to deal with and Dora has pangs of guilt from having to maintain the lie that she is Charlotte.
If you enjoy historical fiction, this is a good book for you to read. The descriptions of the clothing and the rules of society during the gilded age are very interesting to read. It was also interesting to read about the awful conditions in the slums of New York City during that time of high immigration from Europe and Asia to this new land of opportunity. I have to admit that Charlotte was more then a bit irritating at times and rather selfish. I suppose that her privileged upbringing was the main cause of her headstrong behavior, but it still irritated me. The swings between her selfishness and the generosity to help less fortunate people in spite of her own limited ability to help seemed a bit out of character. Overall I did enjoy the book very much in spite of my irritation with Charlotte's behavior.
I received this book to read and review from Bethany House Publications.