This was a fun and fast read for me. I really enjoyed the story of two friends switching places.
Charlotte is the heiress of a once-wealthy English family, whose father has made some bad decisions in both business and morals. Charlotte is offered marriage into one of New York’s wealthiest families and sets sail for America with Dora, who is her maid and confidante.
It is Charlotte’s idea for the two girls to trade positions, and Dora willingly goes along with it, thinking this is her chance to live the life of those she has always had to serve.
Both girls face serious dilemmas as they carry out their deceptive plan. Charlotte has her money and jewels stolen and ends up living with an Italian family in some of the worst tenements in the city. She learns about the needs of the poor and her eyes are opened to their plight in a way she’d never imagined. Dora struggles with guilt as she learns to care for the man she (as Charlotte) is supposed to marry, and is pulled between him and another man she met aboard ship on their way to America.
This book gives a good account of how life was for many immigrants in the latter part of the 19th century. It also helps one see the foolishness of trying to be anyone other than who one is, and the hurt that can be caused when deceiving others.
This was a good story, historically accurate, with many layers of wisdom in its pages. I thoroughly enjoyed it and definitely recommend it!
Thank you to Bethany House for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book to review.
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