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A Home for Friendless Women by Kelly E. Hill

A Home for Friendless Women by Kelly E. Hill

Regular price $17.00 Sale

From Knopf - Vintage

Set in the real-life women-run charitable institution in Louisville, Kentucky, which took in pregnant, unmarried women from 1876 to 1919, A HOME FOR FRIENDLESS WOMEN is an evocative and nuanced blend of archival research and fiction that delves into the darker truths of nineteenth century American white feminism through three women’s stories.
Louisville’s Home for Friendless Women is run by benevolent benefactors with one mission: rehabilitate and reform the “fallen” women who live there and transform them into pious mothers and wives through religious lessons and hard work.

Yet while society sees them as a house of magdalens, permitted to leave only for Sunday church service, it’s not entirely clear whose sins they’re atoning for. For Ruth, a college student who’s expelled after a campus sexual assault, the home is merely the purgatory she must endure before she can get her life back. For Belle, a queer sex worker who exchanged her bed at a brothel for one in the home, it’s a safe place to rest her feet until she can track down her missing lover. And for Minnie, the daughter of the religious couple who founded the charity, the home is her mother’s idea of a lesson in gratitude, a cautionary tale.

But as Minnie prepares for the home’s silver anniversary party, she finds herself questioning the cost of good intentions and reflecting on the home’s past—grappling with her mother’s legacy as president of the board, which Minnie herself now sits on, and the terrible and well-kept secret she thought she’d put behind her after fleeing to Paris to study art in her youth—a secret that, if revealed, may have the power to unravel all the good work the home’s been doing.