I absolutely love historical fiction and read a lot of it; I love to learn history this way. I also enjoy reading science fiction, fantasy, horror, thriller and non-fiction science.
Angelique Bixby is braving the streets of 1950's Chicago. After her husband Daniel's death Angelique has had trouble supporting herself and newborn, Ella Jean. Living on Chicago's South Side as a white woman married to a black man has not been easy. Feeling she has no other choice, Angelique leaves her child with a respected family and tries to move on with life. Years later, Angelique has remarried into a family of privilege. She has been recently diagnosed with breast cancer and wants to amend her will to include the daughter she left behind. Angelique hires Jasmine Stanley, an ambitious, rising star at her law firm. Jasmine's has been asked to keep strict confidentiality with Angelique's task. At first, Jasmine believes that Angelique is another stuck up debutante, however as she digs into Angelique's past, she realizes that they are more alike than they seem; both women hold onto life altering secrets.
She Wears the Mask is a story about secrets, identity and family. The characters were well developed and I could feel the heartbreak as Angelique made the most difficult decision of her life as well as the emotional weight of the secret Jasmine carried. The writing skillfully worked across dual timelines divulging bits of Angelique's history as we learn about her present circumstance as well as unraveling the history of pain in Jasmine's family without giving everything away early on. I do wish we got to see a little more of Angelique's story at the end. Along with the themes of reconciling the past are themes of gender, race and the perceptions and weight that the color of your skin can carry. Overall, She Wears the Mask is an intense and absorbing plot and interesting characters.
This book was received for free in return for an honest review.