A Pretty Age

A Pretty Age

In 1910, a missionary visitor arrives at Sophiny Mumm’s convent boarding school in Concord, Kansas. Sophiny is smitten. Her best friend Antoinette Dominguez is not—and begins a series of strange behaviors breaking all the rules. From Sophiny she extracts three promises, a trunk exchange, and a staged fight before she elopes. Shortly thereafter, Sophiny learns that the missionary is not who he pretends to be and that her friend’s elopement has resulted in a mysterious disappearance. Antoinette’s puzzling diary gives clues about “guardians who cause us to lose our way.” The missionary reappears, and Sophiny is launched on a traveler’s tale of her own to search for her missing friend. In the investigation of puzzling enigmas, Sophiny has to use all the resources of emerging women’s rights, family relationships, social networks, the new technologies (telephone, photography, and transportation), and patron saints.

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