Penelope, Queen of Ithaca is a young woman when her husband, Odysseus, leaves home to fight in the Trojan War. Now, nearly twenty years later, she is a woman of mature years who waits patiently for her husband to return. It has been years since the fall of Troy and, alas, she has heard nothing about what has become of her husband. On the island of Ithaca, Penelope is forced by the sacred laws of hospitality to tend to the needs of her guests who never seem to leave.
At the start of the story, Livia Drusilla is a woman of advanced years who recounts the events of her life. She reminisces about a time when she was a fourteen-year-old girl living under her father’s roof, before she was married. She was the daughter of Marcus Livius Drusus Claudianus, a respectable Roman nobleman who consequently plotted to murder Julius Caesar.
Lady Katherine “Kate” Beresford is a scandalous woman who has failed to find a husband during her first London season. She does what she can to get away from her unwanted admirer, Mr. Elias Catmull, a patronizing and unbearable young man. One evening as she is out with her friend, Christine, she is attacked by a dog that starts biting at the hem of her skirt. A young man with dark hair, tanned skin, and a handsome appearance attempts to stop the dog from nipping at ladies’ skirts. He gives the young woman a handkerchief after she has been bitten before he scoops up the little creature. Despite his helpful nature, he comes across as standoffish and rude.
When tragedy suddenly strikes the Summers family, they have no choice but adapt to the situation. They have lost a beloved husband and father. Now Mrs. Summers and her four daughters (Sarah, Emily, Viola, and Georgiana) face the cruel reality of penury. What are five genteel females to do?
All Mabel MacGinnis has ever known is life in the Manzo Brothers Circus. In 1911, as the strongest woman in Europe, she has quite a reputation. Bram, her father, was a famous strong man. When he dies suddenly, her standing in the circus becomes uncertain. She learns that the mother she thought had died years ago has been alive the entire time. To make matters worse, the truth was hidden from her.
Grace Mockingbird is a teenager living in Jubilee, Kentucky, a coal mining town, with her parents and two siblings: Sissy and Isaac. The middle child in the family, she is often at odds with her prim and proper mother, whom she refers to as Virginia. Virginia’s great ambition is to ingratiate herself with the well-to-do ladies in town.
Maggie’s life is unique. As a time-traveler, she inhabits three different time periods. In 1861, she is Miss Margaret Wakefield, daughter of a well-to-do senator wary of spies during the beginning of the Civil War. In 1941, she is Lieutenant Maggie Hollingsworth, a Navy nurse just before the start of World War II. In 2001, she is Meg Clarke, a promising medical student working at Georgetown University Hospital.
Kathleen O’Dwyer is made of stronger mettle than the average woman. In 1828, she travels west to escape the unwanted advances of a widower, the father of one of her students. Most importantly, she is seeking freedom from society and its expectations of her as a woman. She remembers her brutal upbringing in the Boston slums and the sufferings her mother endured. After accepting a teaching position in Santa Fe in New Mexico Territory, she sets out from St. Louis with a cadre of strange men.
Rebecca “Becca” Parcell is at it again. In The Counterfeit Wife, the sequel to the Turncoat’s Widow, Becca is under orders to travel with her complex co-conspirator, Daniel Alloway. This time they travel to Philadelphia under the guise of a married couple. The shocking truth is that the marriage is nothing more than a ruse. While in the city, the faux married couple is welcomed by the elite of Philadelphia society. Becca makes some powerful friends in the Ladies Association of Philadelphia, such as Sally Franklin Bache, the daughter of Benjamin Franklin.
Annabelle Armitage is the undeniable “belle” of her family. She is largely neglected by her selfish father, Mr. Charles Armitage, the Vicar of St. Charles and St. Jude and her invalid mother, Mrs. Armitage, who always fancies herself ill. Annabelle was featured as a minor character in the first installment in the “Six Sisters” series, Minerva. In “The Taming of Annabelle,” she is the heroine and central focus of the story. Now that her older sister, Minerva is affianced to Lord Sylvester Comfrey, our vain heroine sets her sights on him. She decides that she will seduce Lord Sylvester and steal him from her sister.