First published in 1912, this novel draws its inspiration directly from Austin's own life and experiences as a talented womanin the novel, an actresswhose pursuit of a career places her in conflict with the values of a midwestern town. The hero's decision to leave a dull husband to pursue a career, and her rise to fame, are portrayed against the background of the cramping social order of the time.
"Mrs. Austin tells the story brilliantly with a rich, deep knowledge of human nature, and with an individuality in her way of looking at things that affords many a delightful surprise. Her imagination runs on swift, dramatic feet, and ennobles her style every now and then with a seeress-like touch, to which her large outlook upon life and her concern with its deepest meanings give sanction." --New York Times