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She Wears the Mask

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  43 ratings  ·  33 reviews
Gripping and moving, She Wears the Mask is a novel about two women from two very different worlds, both burdened with secrets from their pasts, who form an unexpected bond…

1950s Chicago: Angelique Bixby could be one of many fresh-faced sales girls working along the Magnificent Mile, but she’s unique. She’s a white woman married to a black man in 1950s Chicago, making her s
Kindle Edition, 262 pages
Published August 11th 2020 (first published June 7th 2020)
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Average rating 4.26  · 
Rating details
 ·  43 ratings  ·  33 reviews

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Shelly Stratton
May 26, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  (Review from the author)
Be your biggest fan, they say. So I guess I should since I wrote this book.
Aug 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Robin Loves Reading
This sensitive story by Shelly Stratton tells the tales of two women - that of a white woman who married a black man in 1950s Chicago and also that of a woman in 1990s Washington D.C., living a life of privilege. How these women's lives intersected is told in this compelling book.

Interracial marriage was unheard of in the 1950s. Actually, it did not even become legal in the United States until 1967 when the Supreme Court settled the case Loving v. Virginia. So, for Angelique Bixby to have marrie
Jul 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a book about secrets, relationships, racism, and the maintaining of reputations. It is very well written, and I found that it flowed flawlessly.

Jasmine is a young black lawyer in 1994; the only black lawyer at her law firm. Because she’s so tenacious and determined to prove herself at work, feeling that in light of of her race she has to work twice as hard as others, her relationships with her husband and family become adversely affected.

Angelique is a rich older woman who tasks Jasmine
T.A. Beasley
Jul 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A person can never get away from their past. This is evident in She Wears the Mask by Shelly Stratton.

Jasmine, a lawyer at a well- known law firm, is given the assignment of helping one of their long-term clients. When she meets Angelique, Jasmine Is not sure how to take her, but she is determined to help her find her lost daughter. Jasmine wants to do a good job, impress her boss, and move up in the firm, being the only black woman, but this task takes a little more than she expects.

She Wears
Jul 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
First thank you to the author Shelly Stratton and Book Sirens for the Advanced Copy of She Wears The Mask. To be honest, I was first attracted to this book because of it's title. With all that's going on in the world and especially the States right now with the Pandemic and the States resistance to wearing facial coverings the title caught my attention, now I knew it had nothing to do with this, but it did make me want to read the description and then the book.

I've been doing quite a bit of read
Aug 10, 2020 rated it liked it
The blurb for this book had me really intrigued and the premise is certainly an interesting one - Angelique and Daniel are happily married when tragedy befalls them and Angelique is forced to make an unbearable decision about their infant daughter Emma Jean. That’s 1950’s Chicago but in Washington in the 1990’s there’s another young woman (Jasmine) who is also having to make huge life decisions. Soon into the story, the two women are linked as the storylines collide and as Angelique and Jasmine ...more
Veronica  Gavilanes
Jul 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: booksirens
(I want to thank BookSirens and the author for this ARC, which I received in exchange for an honest review.)

Angelique is a young and beautiful white woman who fell in love with Daniel, a warm and charming black man in 1949. There are many social obstacles for their relationship but their love is strong, so they move to Chicago and try to build a nice life for their baby, Emma Jean. However, their family is broken by tragedy. In 1994, Jasmine is a smart and ambitious lawyer in her early thirties.
Jul 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What a beautiful, captivating story that centers on two women with life-altering secrets that threaten to destroy their reputation, relationships, and self-acceptance.

Shelly Stratton's "She Wears The Mask" is a compelling novel from start to finish, written in stunning prose that makes for a gripping and vividly detailed read. This is the kind of novel that leaves a mark behind, one that is emotional and mental. Stratton has done her research and it has paid off in the evocative descriptions tha
Jo Ann
Jul 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I received this book as an ARC from NetGalley.

This fascinating story covers two time periods: 1950s Chicago and 1990s Washington, DC.

A female lawyer, Jasmine, is asked by her law firm to represent the mother of an important and powerful client. As Jasmine works with Angelique and hears her story, they form a special bond. Angelique wants to find the daughter she left on a minister's doorstep many years earlier in a black neighborhood in Chicago.

As the book progresses, we discover that both Jas
The CurvyJones
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I must admit, I did not like Jasmine in the beginning of this book. Or Cameron. If I take my notes I wrote while reading, the first one is 'That relationship does not sound like my kind of healthy. Could still go either way though'. Jasmine grew on me though, I really did like her in the end (Cam still not so much though).

That brings me to something I love a lot about 'She Wears the Mask' - the way the characters splash from the page, and are so realistic. You do not have to like them, but the s
Aug 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book made me take a different look on race. This book kept me reading because there were some twists I didn't expect.

Angelique is a white woman married to a black man in the 1950's raising their daughter. She loses her husband in an accident and her daughter is also lost.

Speed ahead 40 years, and Angelique is now living a very different life. She wants to find her daughter, and Jasmine Stanley, a lawyer who is also hiding her own secrets takes on her case.

I received an advance review copy f
Shannan Harper
Aug 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Although I have read this author's work under different names, this book really tops them, and I have enjoyed several of them. Set into two different time periods, a woman tells us of her past, while trying to find the daughter she gave up. The woman helping her has secrets of her own and when every thing comes to light, someone will be left out.

I kept thinking I knew how it was going to end, but I was totally wrong. I really enjoyed reading this book. The author made the characters so life like
Aida Alberto
Aug 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautifully written. Very emotional. A wonderful story that lingers on and on. Had a book hangover because I couldn't stop thinking about the characters. Pick up this winner of a book and prepare to be dazzled. A must read. Happy reading! #SheWearstheMask #NetGalley ...more
Diane Secchiaroli
Jul 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a story of racism, motherhood, relationships and secrets. Angelique marries a black man in the’50’s who after they have a daughter is killed. She finds she cannot support her daughter and gives her up to another family. Unfortunately when the girl is 3 the husband dies and the wife cannot support her on her own so she ends up in an orphanage. Years later Angelique hires a lawyer Jasmine to find her daughter. Both women have secrets they are worried about which will come out as the story ...more
Jul 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle, arc, social-issues
A thought-provoking read about two women of different generations whose lives have run parallel courses. Jasmine and Angelique begin their relationship with a professionally but end up becoming close friends, supporting each other through challenging personal times.

The book is told through each woman's point of view, alternating between Angelique in the third person and Jasmine in the first. I think at one time, both POVs were third person because there are several adjective/pronoun errors in Ja
Anita R
Jul 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is an outstanding story about a very wealthy woman who hires a lawyer to help her find her daughter that she abandoned forty years ago. The lawyer and her wealthy client both have many skeletons in their closets . They both have lived with lies most of their lives. They develop a strong bond as they search for the missing daughter. Many secrets are revealed throughout the book as we read what their masks are hiding. There are many sections of the story that address the black / white conflic ...more
Jul 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this story and I couldn't tell you which character I like best. I'm the type of person that is usually drawn toward a single person in the story but not in this novel. I enjoyed both main characters and I think that is due to the writing. They each had a unique voice and story that drew me in. Angelique was intriguing when we meet her in 1950 and even more so in 1994 when she appears again as a mature woman. I could feel her suffering and her situation was palpable as I moved al ...more
Gail Silverman
Jul 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The story is about two women who start off their connection as a lawyer and client. Their life story is similar in how they were brought up. They have secrets that shape their lives. The secrets almost destroy them. I couldn't put the book down.

I received this book free from NetGalley and the author Shelly Stratton.
Nancy Willard
Jul 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
She Wears the Mask was an enjoyable page turner that turned out to be a very quick read. I usually chose character over plot but this book was a double bonus, as I was rewarded with strong, interesting characters as well as an intriguing plot. I was pretty far into the book before the deception surprised me. At first I thought, this could not have happened as recently as the 90's, but then I thought about the cases we occasionally read about in the news where someone pulls it off. If I have but ...more
Sep 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
CW: racist language, child abandonment, HIV/AIDS, drug abuse, sexual assault, paedophilia

The story opens with Angelique walking through the streets of 1950s Chicago, carrying her baby daughter, Emma Jean, in a basket at her side. Angelique has recently lost her husband and is struggling to make ends meet. Scared of the limited future she can offer her daughter, further complicated by Emma Jean’s dark skin in a time where mixed race families are met with scorn, she leaves her baby on a carefully
Mrs. Varela
Aug 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
She Wears the Mask by Shelly Stratton is an emotionally moving story about love, loss, lies and redemption. When two women meet their lives could not have been more different, they soon discover that they are more alike than meets the eye. The story opens in 1950’s Chicago when Angelique Bixby falls in love and marries a black man after learning that they have a child on the way. When she looses her husband, she is left all alone to raise her baby girl with little means of financial support. One ...more
Aug 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Angelique Bixby is a desperate woman in 1950s Chicago. She's devastated by the loss of her husband and is destitute with only her beautiful baby to comfort her. People make rash decisions when faced with impossible choices.
1990s Jasmine has the world at her feet. Despite being born into a poor neighborhood, she has become a successfull contract lawyer with a wonderful husband. When she goes back to visit her family, she almost looks down on the life she knew. That isn't the woman she has become.
Cassandra Haywood
This is my first time reading a book by this author. I must say the storyline got my attention from the first beginning until the end, which I was not ready for the book to end.
The characters were well developed and you felt like you are right there feeling the emotions of what the characters were going through. Some of the characters I felt like they needed to be strangle which was Angelique son Edgar and Jasmine's husband Cam..
I like how the author had the storyline between the two main chara
Sep 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2020
Mini Review:

She Wears the Mask took me by surprise. Shelley Stratton managed to avoid one of the pitfalls of dual-timeline narrative, losing a character. She Wears the Mask introduces readers to Jasmine, who has been assigned the task of helping Angelique find her long-lost daughter. It’s a challenge that Jasmine is reluctant to take, but as she becomes closer to Angelique and learns more about her complex history, Jasmine questions her past decisions. There was a fear that Angelique’s story wou
Jun 18, 2020 rated it liked it
This book involves two different women, both of whom have secrets and struggle with their past. The time alternates between the 1950s and the 1990s and the difficulties women of color faced (and still face).

At heart, it is about relationships and honesty and how we define ourselves. To this end, the characters could have had more depth.

I had a problem with the abrupt ending. I am not sure if my copy was missing a page or if that was the author's intent. It was a little jarring. Also, things were
Joanne Lewis
Aug 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is an enthralling book which examines how secrets from the past can impact on our futures.

There are various themes covered in this novel which spans between events in the 1950's and 1990's. Racism, interracial marriage and tragedy dominate in Angelique's story, whilst Jasmine, who is drafted in as her lawyer, struggles to cope with issues from her own past which threaten to destroy her future.

There is lots of soul searching throughout as the central characters' stories unfold and there are
Shannan Harper
Aug 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Although I have read this author's work under different names, this book really tops them, and I have enjoyed several of them. Set into two different time periods, a woman tells us of her past, while trying to find the daughter she gave up. The woman helping her has secrets of her own and when every thing comes to light, someone will be left out.

I kept thinking I knew how it was going to end, but I was totally wrong. I really enjoyed reading this book. The author made the characters so life like
Jean Torgeson white
Jul 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
Very good book.
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Shelly Stratton is the penname of an award-nominated author who has published almost a dozen books under another pseudonym.

She is married and lives in Maryland with her husband and their daughter. Visit her at her web site to learn more about her work.

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  Jordan Morris is a comedy writer and podcaster whose credits include @Midnight, Unikitty! and Earth to Ned.  The sci-fi comedy Bubble is his...
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