What is Hidden A Cinderella tale of deception and mystery by Lauren Skidmore
Teentarget books aren’t my usual read. If the main character is underage I find I’m impatient with their “growth and development” and just want to send them to their room for a timeout.
I am however a fan of fairy tale retells, so I picked up this novel by first- time author Lauren Skidmore. I liked it – in the category of romantic escape lit. If you need to take a summer vacation from Dostoyevsky and Chaucer, I’d recommend “What is Hidden”.
You can read it on the porch as you sip lemonade, and even share it safely with a teen or a grandma since it has nothing objectionable for those readers.
“What is Hidden” is a Cinderella story set in the imaginary city of Venesia. It feels like ancient Venice with a bit of fantasy sprinkled on top. There are canals, courtesans, craftsman and of course masks. Venetians wore masks during carnival in Renaissance times and although they declined in use, tourists still associate Venice with masks.
Author Lauren Skidmore commented, “I got the idea from the metaphorical masks we all wear, and how we act accordingly. I wanted to write about those moments we take off the masks. Sometimes these masks prevent us from finding happiness, but removing them can be terrifying because while some people can accept us as we are, some can’t.
“I’ve always thought the Venetian style masks were beautiful, and creating a setting inspired by those masks was a lot of fun. It was great to be able to watch videos online to learn about glass throwing and traditional mask making. I also love fairy tales and old stories made new, and since Cinderella’s ball fit in perfectly with my masked world, it just made sense to me.”