A vibrant female artist struggles for freedom and recognition. Available on Amazon:
Cecily, a beautiful orphan, travels alone to Paris after the American Civil War, in the hopes of making a name for herself as a painter. Though talented, she is not discovered and must return to the United States nearly penniless and with her hopes dashed. Out of desperation, she marries a much older man, Robert Parker, a prosperous judge who can offer her security. But Cecily longs for a fuller, more creative life. Upset at her increasing depression, Robert commits her to an insane asylum for upper-middle-class women. At the hospital her possessions are taken from her, and she is forced to remain in bed all day in a small white room, denied company and all stimulation such as books and drawing materials. She can talk to no one except her doctor, Gabriel Clermont, a handsome physician with radical ideas. Cecily and Gabriel soon fall in love. However, her elopement with him leads to new dangers. As was then fashionable, Robert is convinced her failure to follow the rules is due to a diseased uterus. He is determined that she be given a hysterectomy, hoping she will then be “cured.” Kidnapped from Gabriel and brought back to the asylum, Cecily must literally fight for her life.