When Violet Hayes ventures to Chicago during the time of the World's Fair, her one goal is to find her mother, who has been missing from her life since she was nine. Naive, impressionable, and highly imaginative (having secretly ingested a diet of romance novels and true crime stories at school), Violet stays in Chicago under the care of her grandmother and her three great aunts. It is here that her perspectives on life are opened as she is exposed to the world about her--from high society to the poor immigrant families; from the suffragette movement to the security of a suitable marriage match. As Violet contemplates what course her life will take, she will discover the missing parts of her family's past--and, ultimately, Violet will discover herself.
Young Violet Hays schemes her way to the 1893 Chicago World's Fair so she can search for the mother she barely knew.