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1890s – Texas
Sarah Novak’s near-death experience in the mountains has forced her to acknowledge her love for Lee Logan. She’s determined to change the Riverford School Board’s ban on married women teachers.
Victoria Hodges is painting pictures depicting strong women breaking through traditional gender barriers. She’s determined to be one of the first women to have a showing in New York in the new century.
Christine Boyd has defied the restrictive traditions of widowhood and performed her first public concert in Colorado. She’s determined to open concert stages to women and to pave the way for her musically talented daughter.
All three women have gained new strength, new visions at the first Colorado Chautauqua, but now it’s time to go home. Will they have the courage, the strength to destroy restrictions on women in the upcoming new century?
The train awaits… Riverford, with all its stagnant traditions, is a mere twenty-four hours away. The time has come to test the determination of these women.
But forces they never dreamed of are already arrayed against them.
Can they make the new century accept the new woman?
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1898 – Texas
Things are looking up in Riverford, Texas in June 1898. Czech immigrant, Sarah Novak, is finally graduating from teacher s college. Surely she will now put aside all that foolishness about being a professional woman and marry Lee Logan. After all, what young woman could ask for more? Lee is a handsome, young banker who will take his new bride off to bustling Fort Worth, Texas, and give her a life of luxury.
And when Sarah finally marries Lee, Victoria Hodges, that red-haired, trouble-making, bohemian artist from Europe, will be forced to admit that Sarah cannot change tradition-bound Riverford.
But moments after Sarah receives her diploma tragedy strikes Riverford, forcing Sarah and Victoria to work together in order to save the town. Can love blossom amidst conflicting cultures and backgrounds.
1895 – Texas
Sarah Novak has an impossible dream. She wants to be a schoolteacher, but everyone in Riverford, Texas, in 1895 knows that immigrant farm girls do not become teachers. It’s an absurd notion, and the sooner it’s squashed, the better! These things can get out of hand, you know.
Riverford has another problem – a troublesome newcomer named Victoria Hodges. She’s a Bohemian nonconformist who ran off to Europe 20 years ago to become an artist. How she managed to hook wealthy, local businessman, Hayden Hodges, is more than a body can understand. One thing’s for certain. She’s a corrupting force who must be removed from decent society! These things can get out of hand, you know.
Fortunately, Edith Bellows knows how to nip these things in the bud. A united stand of all the decent ladies, a cold-shouldered shut out of such radicalism – that’s the ticket.
But Mrs. Bellows barely gets her campaign underway when mutiny in the ranks occurs. Why on earth would genteel Christine Boyd, daughter of famed Confederate Gen. Gibbes of Charleston, South Carolina, befriend those two reprobates? Bless her heart! Doesn’t she understand that the very life blood of Southern womanhood – propriety – is at stake?
There will be no skirting of tradition on Mrs. Bellows’ watch!
Or will there?