The House of Closed Doors Boxed Set: Nell's Story
by Jane Steen
NELL LILLINGTON is a spoiled, headstrong 16-year-old when she finds herself pregnant after letting a flirtation with handsome Cousin Jack get out of hand. More willing to bear the consequences of an illegitimate pregnancy than marry, she refuses to name the father and agrees to give birth in a Poor Farm and give the baby up for adoption. At the Poor Farm she meets Tess O’Dugan, a woman the world calls an imbecile but who soon becomes the sister Nell never had.
MARTIN RUTHERFORD, Nell’s childhood friend, only learns of baby Sarah when Nell seeks to escape from the Poor Farm—with the child. His own aversion to marriage stems from his dark, unhappy childhood, and despite his attachment to Nell he makes no objection to her plan to move to Kansas, away from prying eyes, with Tess and Sarah. Martin, now free of family ties, has his own plans—he wishes to build a grand department store in Chicago and become one of that growing city’s merchant princes.
But Nell and Martin’s plans are steered off course by the secrets and lies of other people, and their paths to happiness are strewn with murder. Nell’s story will take you from the Illinois prairie, to frontier Kansas, and back to a Chicago teeming with opportunistic new Americans and ruthless hardmen.
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