The Invention of Sophie Carter
Publication date: July 14th 2020
Genres: Historical Romance, Young Adult
Identical twin sisters take turns swapping places over the course of a summer in order to pursue their secret ambitions in Samantha Hastings’ Victorian YA romance.
1851. Bounced from one begrudging relative to another their whole lives, orphaned identical twins Sophie and Mariah Carter have always relied on each other for love and support, even though the sisters couldn’t be more different.
Brash Sophie wants to be an inventor, and demure Mariah wants to be an artist. Both long to visit London for the summer—Sophie to see the Queen’s Great Exhibition and Mariah to study the world’s finest collection of paintings. But when their cantankerous aunt answers their letter pleading for a place to stay, she insists she only has time and room to spare for one of them.
So, Mariah and Sophie hatch a clever scheme: They will travel to London together and take turns playing the part of “Sophie”.
At first the plan runs like clockwork. But as the girls avoid getting caught by increasingly narrow margins and two handsome gentlemen—both of whom think they’re falling in love with the real Sophie Carter—enter the equation, the sisters find they don’t have the situation quite as under control as they thought.
With all sorts of delightful Parent Trap-style identical twin hijinks, The Invention of Sophie Carter is the perfect light-and-sweet palate cleanser.
Identical twins Sophie and Mariah Carter were orphaned directly after their birth and taken in by the Captain and wife of their father's navy ship, the Trenton's. Soon after they were taken in, Mrs. Trenton has a child of her own and Sophie and Mariah are sent away once again to the Ellis' who own a clock shop. Sophie and Mariah must work tirelessly for their keep; however, Sophie learns about clock repair from Mr. Ellis and dreams of being an inventor while Mariah takes care of the Ellis' children. Approaching adulthood, the sister's know they must find a place outside of the Ellis' home. Sophie writes to their one remaining relative, Aunt Sophrinoa Bentley in London hoping that she will take them in. Their Aunt agrees to take in only Sophie and only for one season in order to find Sophie a husband. Sophie and Mariah can't imagine splitting up, so they simply set off to London together planning on both acting the part of Sophie with only one of them appearing at a time. Their plan works and Sophie is able to see the 1851 Queen's Great Exhibition along with Ethan Miller whose watch Sophie fixed up in the park. Meanwhile, Mariah spends most of her day in the house with Aunt Bentley and her ward Charles where she discovers her passion for female authors and painting. Each man believes they are dating the real Sophie Carter as the twins learn they are not as similar as they thought.
The Invention of Sophie Carter is a sweet Victorian Romance for Young Adult and New Adult readers. I fell immediately for both Sophie and Mariah's characters as they were unwanted by one family and then another but still found hope, strength and fortitude in one another. I did find their scheme at their Aunt's house far fetched and was amazed that they were able to sustain the charade; it did make for a very fun and suspenseful plot. Sophie and Mariah were very opposite in personality and I loved Sophie's need for knowledge and adventure as well as Mariah's quiet discipline although Sophie's pluck seemed a little out of place for the time period at points. The romances were equally as swoon worthy with both Ethan and Charles being perfect matches for Sophie and Mariah's personalities. I also enjoyed reading about the Great Exhibition and seeing it through Sophie's eyes as well as some Pre-Raphaelite artists through Mariah's training. Most of all, it was interesting to see the twins begin to realize just who they are as people and that they are very different, but can still support each other's passions. Overall, an endearing and engaging Victorian Romance.
This book was received for free in return for an honest review.
Samantha Hastings has degrees from Brigham Young University, the University of Reading (Berkshire, England), and the University of North Texas. She met her husband in a turkey sandwich line. They live in Salt Lake City, Utah, where she spends most of her time reading, eating popcorn, and chasing her kids. She is the author of THE LAST WORD, THE INVENTION OF SOPHIE CARTER, and A ROYAL CHRISTMAS QUANDARY.
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