Autumn, 1918. Rumors of peace are spreading across America, but
spreading even faster are the first cases of Spanish influenza, whispering of
the epidemic to come. Maureen Ross, well past a safe childbearing age, is
experiencing a difficult pregnancy. Her husband, Troop—cold and careless of her
condition—is an emotional cripple who has battered her spirit throughout their
marriage. As Maureen’s time grows near, she becomes convinced she will die in
childbirth. Into this loveless ménage comes Mary Oliver, Troop’s niece. The
sheltered child of a well-to-do, freethinking Washington family, Mary arrives
to help Maureen in the last weeks of her confinement. Horrified by Troop’s
bullying, she soon discovers that her true duty is to protect her aunt.
spreads and the death toll grows, Troop’s spiteful behavior worsens. Tormenting
his wife, taunting her for her “low birth,” Troop terrorizes the household.
When Mary fights back, he goes over the edge. It’s up to Maureen to bring about
the final confrontation.
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