A side of Louisa May Alcott that not everyone knows about, this book is one written under her pen name A. M. Barnard. From the start it's a quick and clever romp, very well written and engaging. If you don't often read classic American literature, the lanuage and customs take a bit getting used to; notions of class and rank are far enough behind us that we need a bit of a refresher, but once you get into the swing of things it reads just as well as any contemporary story. Behind a Mask: or A Woman's Power takes on a theme that's as relevant then as now, that of a woman trying to move up in society and the world through marriage. At the very start of the story Alcott gives us one tantalizing bit of information about this particular woman, though, that makes leaves you wondering how the other characters will react, if they ever find out.