In her debut, Perkins-Valdez eloquently plunges into a dark period of American history, chronicling the lives of four slave women-Lizzie, Reenie, Sweet and Mawu-who are their masters’ mistresses. The women meet when their owners vacation at the same summer resort in Ohio. There, they see free blacks for the first time and hear rumors of abolition, sparking their own desires to be free. For everyone but Lizzie, that is, who believes she is really in love with her master, and he with her. An extended flashback in the middle of the novel delves into Lizzie’s life and vividly explores the complicated psychological dynamic between master and slave. Jumping back to the final summer in Ohio, the women all have a decision to make-will they run? Heart-wrenching, intriguing, original and suspenseful, this novel showcases Perkins-Valdez’s ability to bring the unfortunate past to life.