"The good old days" aren't all they're cracked up to be...at least in Jeanne M. Dams's turn-of-the-century novels. Her woman on the spot, Hilda Johansson, a maid in the Studebaker household in South Bend, sees what's going on among the rich, suffers what's going on among the less fortunate...and has no trouble telling it like it is.
Hilda's situation is fragile. She's crammed into a small house with her family of seven, and her happiness at being reunited with them is bittersweet. Worst of all, her 12-year-old brother, Eric, can't hold a job. When a friend of Eric's runs away to join the circus and is found beaten, perhaps worse, events take a desperate turn.