Sabine Conrad is a young Prima Donna in 19th century New York. She is taken under the wing of the man who ultimately becomes her manager and lover, Gideon Price. Her every move is controlled by him, and, in her attempt to escape, her plan goes awry so that she flees and leaves a murder in her wake.
Four years later she is living out her life as Marguerite Olsen in Seattle, working in a box house, running whores, and desperately hiding her secrets from everyone around her. But when past returns offering a life she thought she could never return to again, she must decide what path she will choose.
This took me so long to read and it's not because I didn't enjoy it. Sabine/Marguerite is a true Prima Donna in every way and she was so unbearable at times I couldn't even read the book anymore for awhile. Spoiled, arrogant and thinking sex will get her everything she wants is a major factor in both aspects of her life. However, the story picks up tremendously when her past comes back to haunt her, and by then end of the book I was cheering for her, although I didn't agree with some of the decisions she made. The constant pace from her current life in Seattle is wonderfully interspersed with journal entries from when she was the Prima Donna of the country before everything went bad.