The Winthrop Agreement: A Novel (Paperback)
A captivating historical novel set in Gilded Age New York City about an immigrant daughter’s ascent from a miserable tenement to the heights of haute couture, driven by an insatiable hunger for a place in society and secrets she must not betray.
When Rivkah Milmanovitch arrives at Ellis Island, her husband is not waiting for her as promised. Alone and pregnant, she makes her way to the Lower East Side tenement of an old friend. Lottie Aarons, whose husband went out for a newspaper and never returned, takes Rivkah in and they work side-by-side in dispiriting sweatshops. Rivkah gives birth to a daughter, Mimi, determined that her child will have a better life in America.
Frederick Winthrop, slum landlord, lives in one of Fifth Avenue‘s sumptuous mansions—and preys on young girls. When he serendipitously meets fifteen-year-old Mimi, who dreams of silks, satins and velvets, imagines costumes and ball gowns, she is easily seduced, and her life takes an unexpected turn. To avoid scandal, the Winthrop family offers Mimi a rare opportunity. While Lottie, now a bookkeeper in the employ of the Winthrops, wisely advises her, Mimi knows exactly what she wants. But as she rises to international fame, she must struggle with the secrets of her past and protect those she loves.
Part history, part romance, with a twist of gothic, The Winthrop Agreement is a spellbinding tale of a determined heroine who will entrance Bridgerton and all historical fiction fans.
Alice Simpson is an accomplished visual artist who has a profound passion for dance. Ballroom is her first novel. She lives in South Pasadena, California.
“The author spins a wonderful story of hope, determination, and achievement. It is an exciting story that is well written. Each of the characters are superbly developed. The narrative is such that the reader can picture themselves there watching things as they transpire . . . . Things are not always what they seem. The author has done a masterful job of creating a story that is exciting, mysterious, and entertaining.” — New York Journal of Books
“Rich in characters and awash in period details of Gilded Age New York as well as the sumptuous fashions of the time, this book is a treat for historical-fiction fans.” — Booklist
“For readers who like their historical fiction with a gothic twist.” — Toronto Star
“Steeped in vivid descriptions of New York City’s Gilded Age, Simpson’s fascinating novel creates a richly layered tapestry of the heartbreaking plight of immigrants juxtaposed with the opulent lifestyles of the elite. Mimi’s exciting and mysterious journey is enhanced by a cast of unique, well-developed characters and lively dialogue. Seamlessly threading significant political, social, and historical events into this captivating story, Simpson’s plot is filled with tender, emotional scenes and psychologically twisted moments. A memorable and intriguing read.” — Historical Novels Society
"What shines through the narrative is Mimi's story, her effervescent personality, her enthusiasm for life and making friends, her devotion to her son, and her talent for conceiving beautiful, unique creations. This engaging novel could just as well have been set in the present day in terms of the immigrant experience and class divisions. It's not only a pleasure to read; it's thoughtful and filled with likable characters." — Bookreporter.com
“Rich and captivating." — Woman’s World Magazine
“A great historical fiction novel set over many years, in New York City. Fans of character driven stories, will really like this one. It’s one of those books you don’t want to put down.” — Red Carpet Crash
“A captivating historical novel set in Gilded Age New York City about an immigrant daughter’s ascent from a miserable tenement to the heights of haute couture, driven by an insatiable hunger for a place in society and secrets she must not betray.” — Hasty Book List