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What is Hid­den A Cin­derella tale of de­cep­tion and mys­tery by Lau­ren Skid­more

Serve Daily - - NEWS - By Deb­bie Bal­zotti

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.”

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