Maureen O’Reilly and her younger sister flee Ireland in hope of claiming the life promised to their father over twenty years before. After surviving the rigors of Ellis Island, Maureen learns that their benefactor, Colonel Wakefield, has died. His family, refusing to own his Civil War debt, casts her out. Alone, impoverished, and in danger of deportation, Maureen connives to obtain employment in a prominent department store. But she soon discovers that the elegant facade hides a secret that threatens every vulnerable woman in the city.
Despite her family’s disapproval, Olivia Wakefield determines to honor her father’s debt but can’t find Maureen. Unexpected help comes from a local businessman, whom Olivia begins to see as more than an ally, even as she fears the secrets he’s hiding. As women begin disappearing from the store, Olivia rallies influential ladies in her circle to help Maureen take a stand against injustice and fight for the lives of their growing band of sisters. But can either woman open her heart to divine leading or the love it might bring?
Fans of Cathy Gohlke’s Promise Me This will find they will love this book just as much even though it’s very different. It still has Cathy’s excellent storytelling, historical accuracy and a page turning book you can’t put down. What is doesn’t have is the romance story but it has a powerful story that will stay with long after you turn the last page.
I loved Olivia’s character and her determination to do good and on honor her father’s promise. She is a person that many of can learn from. Of course, I also loved Maureen’s character but her story was more heart breaking at times. She was frustrating at times with her stubbornness, which made sense at times but not always.
This is a great book for anyone who likes a good historical story. Though I will say it is not a light beach read by any means, but I think that is why the book is so great and powerful!
Rated PG-13: Younger Children may not understand what’s going on. The book deals with human trafficking.
Review copy provided by publisher. Thank you!