Katherine Lunden grows up in 1860s Wisconsin dreaming of becoming a writer. One day, she catches a train to Chicago with nothing more than a satchel and a suitcase bearing the name "Edith Shay." The suitcase and its phantom owner become a symbol of the woman Katherine would like to be. But alone in the city, she had never dreamed it would be so hard just to get by. It takes hard work, luck and an great friend to set Katherine on the road to a life more rewarding than she ever imagined.