Dear Miss Cushman
In this coming-of-age story, Georgie's adventures onstage and off lead to fulfillment and love.
In 1850s Manhattan, 18-year-old Georgiana Cartwright witnesses the downfall of her father, a renowned actor who disgraces himself performing drunk. When he deserts the family, Georgie is expected to save the day by marrying well. But she aspires to the stage, hoping to earn an independent living like her idol, the great actress Charlotte Cushman. Hired as a supporting actress for a prominent theater company, Georgie launches her career with the help of a trio of young friends, including Clementine, a budding scribe determined to make her mark on the literary landscape—and to win Georgie’s heart. Early reviews garner Georgie the promise of a bright future, but then unwanted sexual advances from within the company threaten to derail her career. Following Cushman’s lead, Georgie regains her footing in “breeches roles,” parts written for men but performed by women. A thrilling gender-bending turn in a Shakespearean role boosts her confidence—until her harasser steps up his efforts. Will she be able to vanquish him and find success and love on her own terms?