Early one summer morning in 1850, as Penny McGinty leans over a cookstove in the sweltering Philadelphia kitchen, a knock from a slender fist upon the back door of the tall, narrow house interrupts the hum of insects hovering in the yard's overgrown garden. At first, neither Penny, nor the wealthy family for whom she cooks, nor the niece who spends her hours reading in the upstairs drawing room, nor even the man tending his horse in the stable just beyond the stone wall at the back of the garden will recognize the sound of the knock for anything than it is. Penny McGinty opens the door and invites the traveler inside. Thus, begins Night Shade, a story of awakening, sacrifice, and struggle as the conflict for the nation's soul looms.
"As in her previous novel, Finding Hollis, Williams creates vividly-drawn characters, all of whom have good hearts." - Mary Ann Grossmann St. Paul Pioneer Press