Agitating teachers, mesmerists, women trying to live complete lives and the men who care for them, abolitionists, and Temperance feminists comprise the cast of characters.
So much of human progress comes about through turmoil, struggle, and war. It also comes about through some surprising means. In the mid-nineteenth century, the burned-over district of Western New York was a tumultuous, exciting, and productive locale.
There was commercial growth brought about first by steamships scurrying across the Great Lakes, then by travel along the Erie Canal, then by railroads.
More importantly, there was improvement in the lives of America's disenfranchised: African-American men and women and white women in particular. All of this excitement is the stuff of a novel, and writing it as a novel gives me a chance to bring the reader into that place and time period.
The setting of the novel--Fredonia, New York--is the first site of the Granger movement, which strongly advocated for women's rights. Fredonia is also in the thick of Spiritualism, an important movement that gave women a platform, a voice, and a means to recognize their importance to the human community.
The details of this novel re-create a time that was filled with all kinds of people of varied hues and religions and sexual orientations.