The novel principally concerns the struggles of Prue Meryon to support herself through work, and is “a passionate cry for new heavens and a new earth realizable here below”. Whiteing was a supporter of the women’s suffrage movement.
PPRUDENCE MERYON-PRUE, for short-stood a beggar in the world at twenty years of age, with little more than as many pounds sterling between her and the deeps.
The news of it came to her, as it were, between sleeping and waking, or, at any rate, between sitting down to breakfast and opening a letter.
The letter was from her uncle, a solicitor, who had the liquidation of her dead mother’s affairs in hand; and it came to tell her that, as a result of a long investigation, in the leisurely way peculiar to the law, she had but this sum left to her credit. To be exact, it was ?30 17s. 4d., saved from the wreck of the estate, and shortly to be handed to her in due form. When that was spent, she would be without a penny.