Book 1: London, 1799. Playing with a lad named Walter, Claire Easton learns that boys are sent to school for an education, though girls are taught to sew at home. She learns of social punition by seeing her mother receive a caning from her husband for not having born an heir.
As a young adult, Claire tries to gain employment, but is reviled for behaving like a man. Seeing her mother beaten once too often, Claire goes to Walter. She convinces him to lead her to a thugs’ roost, where Claire will purchase a thrashing for her father. Instead, thugs force Walter to have sex with Claire. The men are enjailed, and Claire becomes pregnant.
Claire is fired due to her wanton behavior. But her employer’s son, Richmond, proposes marriage. Claire accepts. After the child is born, Claire petitions for Walter’s release from prison. She tries to achieve an emotional bond with her husband, but fails. Two years later, hearing that Walter will be freed, Richmond kills himself.
Though not in love, Claire and Walter are together in life. Claire now understands that she can best succeed not by attacking society, but by progressing with her living. In 1825, Claire, Walter, and their daughter leave for America.
Books 2 and 3 tell the same story modified to account for the different settings and societies: Mid-West America, 1999; and the Moon, 2099.