A historical crime novel set in 1890 America, showing both sides of the societal coin, Donnelly takes you from the ballrooms of the idle (and corrupt) rich to the brothels and rat-infested rooms of the homeless and hard-working poor. Though seventeen year old Jo Montfort, a daughter of the rich and powerful, is the main character, I found myself more intrigued by the streetwise teen Fairy Fay, who did more for Jo to help her develop into the woman her heart wanted her to be and was satisfied that her story ended happy. As for Jo, her journey into the dark part of life with its daily violence, secrets, and revenge was riveting. Though one might think they have figured out the plot it always twists, unexpectedly. Despite Jo losing her fortune and status, I believe the story left the reader with hope for the love and the life she desperately wished for. It’s darkness is tempered with the light of hope and it’s characters haunt you long after you’re finished reading.
The best book I’ve read this year.