Kate Parr is smart, confident, and passionate: a rising star in a world of intense competition. But her obligatory marriage to Henry is rife with the threat of violence and the lure of deceit; her secret liaisons with Thom, her husband's former brother-in-law, could send her to an early grave; and her devotion to the education and equal rights of Henry's daughters is putting an even bigger strain on her marriage. Does Kate risk her life to gain authority in both her relationship and her political career? Which love will she be led to if she follows her heart? And what kind of future is there for her children if she makes a crucial mistake?