THE FOURTH QUEEN
When Helen Gloag storms out of her father’s cottage and heads for the coast , her plan is simple: an escape from Scotland, a pleasant sea voyage, a new start in the American Colonies. Yet what begins as an adolescent rebellion quickly turns into the stuff of nightmares. The grueling poverty and despe ration Helen had hoped to escape by leaving home is magnified ten-fold in t he hold of the ship, where illness and starvation run rampant. Then one day , Helen makes a startling and useful discovery about the gross stratificati on of society: while she and the other passengers wrestle for scraps in the squalid pestilence of the ship’s belly, the captain’s silk-clad guests enj oy claret and crumpets above-deck. The germ of a resolution takes hold in H elen’s mind. She will do whatever it takes to become a proper lady, with go rgeous clothes and sumptuous food, soft hands and idle days. Helen has no i dea just how soon her wish will come true—and what a bizarre and devastatin g price she will pay for it.