Essie can tell from the moment she lays eyes on Harriet Abbott: this is a woman who has taken a wrong turn in life. Why else would an educated, well-dressed, clearly upper-crust girl end up in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory setting sleeves for six dollars a day? But Harriet isn’t the only one who is lost. Essie wanders between the opposing emotions of her love for the young would-be lawyer who lives next door and her hatred for her mother who seems determined to take away every bit of happiness that Essie hopes to find. As the unlikely friendship between Essie and Harriet grows, so does the weight of the question hanging between them: Who is lost? And who will be found?
This is a powerful novel about friendship, loss, and the resiliency of the human spirit, set against the backdrop of the teeming crowds and scrappy landscape of the Lower East Side of Manhattan in the early 1900s.