Fun, light Victorian novel about Nancy Astley, a blue collar oyster shucker who leaves her small town to act on stage in London. The book portrays an interesting picture of Victorian England, just at the beginning of social reform for the working class. Nancy starts her stage career as a 'masher' - a woman who dresses in men's clothing, which was scandalous for the times. Nancy falls in love with her costar, another 'masher' named Kitty, and Nancy soon realizes that she is a lesbian. What I found interesting was that although some people disapproved of her relationships, she was accepted in many circles. Here we are now in 2009 - women can wear pants, women can vote, we have labor laws and yet we still have not advanced as far as accepting sexual differences. Overall a good light romance with a bit of social commentary.