I was both appalled and delighted with the concept of this novel. A young girl, Maude, runs away from her home in Brittany when pledged to a frightening man, and sets her sights on Paris. Once in the city, she's forced to take a unique position as the ugly friend to a beautiful woman of society. The idea is that more attention will be on the socialites, making them more attractive, because of the plainness of their "friend." A friend being who is paid quite well to play the part.
I felt totally immersed in Paris and the time period, losing myself in Maude's story. She's a strong main character who I found myself truly liking from the very beginning. I was absolutely fascinated by the plot and almost couldn't believe what I was reading in those first few scenes. Craziness!
It's rare to find a subject I've not yet read about, but this whole "beauty foil" thing was definitely unique. I loved it!
Everything about the book was well-researched and detailed, making for a great read. Highly recommended!
Thanks to Random House for the review copy!