Book: Behind A Mask

Have you ever gone back to old favourites and discovered something new and exciting? Louisa May Alcott is famous for her Little Women series, which includes Little Men, Jo’s Boys and Eight Cousins. I loved these books as a growing girl and to see her name on the bookshelf with a title that I hadn’t read was exhilarating.

behind a mask


Behind a Mask is so different from anything that I’ve read by Alcott before. It’s full of drama and deception. It reminds me of all the Korean dramas that have been airing recently. Tales of revenge, love spurned and wicked deeds. It’s better though, because although Korean dramas make me roll my eyes this book captivated me. It is beautifully written. The language is perfect for the story. What really ensnared me was the manipulations and deceit that was presented so matter-of-factly. Everything was laid bare and you could see how Jean Muir used her charms to captivate everybody in the household. I think that the book is aptly titled “A Woman’s Power”.

Jean Muir is the new governess in the Coventry household. She appears like a meek 19-year-old but her real identity is revealed to the reader almost immediately. What follows is an intricate plot to captivate the hearts of every man in the house. Add to that a time limit and some hurdles to surmount and we have a well crafted story with an enthralling female protagonist. It’s like the Count of Monte Cristo, but from a woman’s point of view.

Don’t get me wrong, Jean Muir is not a character I like. But she is definitely someone I respect and to some extent admire. Reading Behind  A Mask has given me new-found love for Alcott. I’m completely bowled over by this novel. It’s intense and gripping. I could not put it down. And short though it is, at only 108 pages, it is stunning.


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