New York City, 1841
When Reverend Joseph plucks a gravely wounded child from the mean streets of Manhattan’s rough Five Points District, he intends to give her a real home. And though Kassandra flourishes in the preacher’s house, learning Bible verses at his knee and going to school, as a young teenager she makes the first of many devastating decisions, running away from the only haven she’s ever known.
What follows is a waking nightmare: life in a tiny room above a brothel, the loss of a child, a lover’s rejection, and finally, life as a prostitute. As circumstances lead her further and further from the reverend’s secure home, an ashamed Kassandra is certain that neither God, nor Joseph, will ever forgive her.
Feeling as though she has nothing left to lose and nowhere to go, Kassandra leaves behind her hopes of redemption and heads west to California, where she is transformed into the woman known as Sadie.
Unfortunately, nothing in her life is pointing to a happy ending, and Sadie is forced to grapple with the question: Once you’ve passed the point of no return, can you ever go back?