In 1896, Isobel McFadden boards the S.S. Farnassia to seek a bright future in America, far from the hands of her cruel father. But the nightmare that awaits Isobel when she arrives in West Virginia is almost more than the 16-year-old Scottish woman can bear.

Sold into indentured servitude by her father, Isobel is appointed head matron of Helsley House Insane Asylum, where she is in charge of caring for 42 deranged women. As Isobel gets to know the women of Helsley House, she discovers a shocking secret: these women are not imprisoned because they are insane, their captivity is a result of something much more insidious.

The reform and suffragette movements of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries brought to light the stories of silenced and abandoned women - women who were tormented, abused, or locked away for speaking out for what they believed in, for fighting for their rights - for wanting better lives.


Angela Marie Photography