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In this epic novel spanning three generations of the Schneider family, Leonard Schonberg unfolds the lives of three unforgettable women: Hannah, Pearl, and Sarah. After emigrating from Europe in 1913, Hannah and her father, Isaac, overcome poverty and tragedy in New York. They make a new life for themselves in the rough and tumble mining town of Butte, Montana. Introduced to the pleasures of love by Madame Claire, the owner of a brothel, Hannah blossoms into maturity, but the bright future that awaits her dissolves when she is victimized by rape. Pearl, the mixed-race child borne by Hannah, grows up in an orphanage knowing nothing about her parents. She falls in love with Nathan Rubin, a young premedical student, but their plans for the future are irrevocably altered when Nathan is seriously wounded during World War II. Peal, tormented by her abandonment as an infant, finds it difficult to bond with her own daughter, Sarah. Sarah, attending college in New York City on a scholarship, has her plans for a literary career derailed when she marries Roger Delaney, an advertising executive. She becomes progressively more unhappy with her job and marriage. Matters come to a head when Sarah learns she is pregnant and receives word that her mother is dying. Sarah returns to Montana and discovers the secret of her mother?