Sunday, September 22, 2013

Behind a Mask; or, A Woman's Power

by Louisa May Alcott
E-book from Project Gutenberg

When the Coventry family hires Jean Muir as a governess for the daughter, Bella, Jean goes on to charm everyone in the household, except for Bella's brother Gerald and his cousin Lucia. These two can't shake off the idea that Jean is not quite what she seems.

I read every Louisa May Alcott children's book that I could get my hands on when I was a teenager, including her lesser-known ones, such as Eight Cousins, Rose in Bloom, and An Old-Fashioned Girl; but I never read her Gothic novellas or the novelizations of the newspaper stories that made her money. I'm rectifying that now, and this book - a free e-book - is my first foray into that part of her writing. This is more of an early example of a thriller than a mystery or Gothic novel per se, but it's an engaging story that keeps the reader in suspense to the end.

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