Tuesday, 23 April 2013

The Girl In the Mask - Kate's review

The Girl in the Mask by Marie-Louise Jensen
Guest reviewed by Kate (Year 9)
The Girl in the Mask was longlisted for the Carnegie 2013 medal.

Cover for The Girl in the Mask by Marie-Louise Jensen
The Girl in the Mask - Marie-Louise Jensen
It’s the summer of 1715 and Sophia’s odious father has returned from his four-year trip, much to her horror. He is determined to shape Sophia into a sophisticated lady suitable of her heritage and marry her off but Sophia isn’t so excited. She is not your typical Georgian lady; not a fan of dresses or make up, shoes or sewing, she prefers to spend time with her cousin Jack reading or shooting. However her father is determined to knock this streak out of her. When taken to Bath to ‘summer’, highwaymen rob her, giving Sophia a cunning idea to throw off her father’s tyrannous rule.

From the beginning I loved this book. The plot is well written and engaging, the characters have substance and are relatable and the description and setting are vivid. Sophia, the main character, is a headstrong and independent girl, both traits which can be quite hard to find in novels set in this period. However her tenacity and courage are very refreshing to read!

The slight difference between this book and others by Jensen is that while romance is a key factor in the plot, Sophia isn’t a girl that wants it. She is quite happy to be independent and does not want to get married, again a hard thing to find in historical novels. There are romantic interests for Sophia but they are not the key concept of the plot. In fact, quite the opposite. A lot of the plot is based around her independence and her determination to not be ruled by any men, a husband or her father.

The relationships that Sophia develops through the novel are believable, relatable and well told. They develop slowly but not at a pace that feels like they are dragging so you get the story and the relationship coming together.

Overall, I really liked The Girl in the Mask and couldn’t put it down. The pacing is excellent and I certainly didn’t feel like you got any irrelevant information. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who enjoys historical fiction, or even just strong female characters.

Publication details: Oxford University Press, 2012, Oxford, paperback
This copy: received from the publishers for shadowing the Carnegie 2013 longlist


  1. What an incredibly lovely review! Thank you so much. My day is suddenly much brighter. I'm so glad you enjoyed the book, Kate.

  2. I'm so glad that you liked this because Marie-Louise Jensen is one of my favourite authors, and historical fiction one of my favourite genres.
    It really is amazing, isn't it?! :D


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