The New York Times bestselling author of Whiter Than Snow delivers a novel about the secrets and passions of three generations of women who lived in a Victorian Colorado house. It’s 1880, and for Nealie Bent, seventeen, the splendid Victorian house under construction in Georgetown, Colorado, is like a fairy tale come to life. She dreams of living in “the Bride’s House,” as she calls it, with Will Spaulding, the young entrepreneur sent from the East by his grandfather to learn about the mining business. Will is not the only one who courts Nealie. Charlie Dumas, a miner who lacks Will’s polish, wants to marry the hired girl, too, and although Nealie rebuffs him, Charlie refuses to give up. Ultimately, Nealie must deal with lies, secrets, and heartache before choosing the man who will give her the Bride’s House.
For the motherless Pearl, growing up in the Bride’s House is akin to being raised in a mausoleum. Her father, robbed of the life he envisioned with Nealie, has fashioned the house into a shrine to the woman he loved. He keeps his daughter close. When the enterprising young Frank Curry comes along and asks for Pearl’s hand in marriage, Pearl’s father sabotages the union. But Pearl has inherited her mother’s tenacity of heart, and her father underestimates the lengths to which the women in the Bride’s House will go for love.
Susan is the latest in the line of strong and willful women in the Bride’s House. She’s proud of the women who came before her. Their legacy and the Bride’s House’s secrets force Susan to question what she wants and who she loves.