Born into a once-wealthy Manhattan family, Louisa Delafield survives by doing the one thing she’s suited for: writing a society column. But in January 1913, the death of a police matron in a bombed brownstone convinces Louisa to write about darker subjects. “Muckraking” goes against her upbringing, but once her blinders are off, she can’t continue to protect the privileged.
Ellen Malloy came to America to escape the priests who told her she would go to hell for loving women. However, her job as a debutante’s personal maid affords her no opportunity for a life, much less for finding love. After witnessing the death of a fellow servant during an illegal abortion, she flees her comfortable position in fear for her life.
Louisa wants a news story; Ellen wants revenge. Two such different allies could hardly be imagined, but both are under the thumb of a corrupt system which still wears a straitlaced Victorian costume. Arrayed against them are a society abortionist, a white slavery ring, and powerful forces who work in the dark to keep their secrets from the light of day—some of whom may appear as their closest allies.
This book is a timely reminder of an era when the legal system and social norms prevented women from enjoying the freedom to control their own destinies.