Reading an amazing story called Missy by Chris Hannan. It’s about a “flash girl” in the gold/silver rushes of the old West. These were prostitutes who were affiliated with an establishment, as opposed to street walkers. Lots of period dialog and details. Compelling story of a young woman whose mother is a total bust-out–playing like she is a lady but being seriously drunk all the time. Abandoned her daughter at age 13.
The daughter keeps following her around the country trying to help her–because she promised her when she was 10 that she would always take care of her. The daughter is addicted–like so many people of the time, particularly women–to opium in various forms. It was a drugstore remedy available to everyone and cheap. Still the
daughter maintains a semblance of sanity compared to her mom. Many scenes of
violence described with the dispassionate voice of someone who’s simply
used to it. Hard to put down.
Good reminder of some of the progress that’s been made for single working women in our world.