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When Cora Haworth's sister was disowned after falling pregnant at fourteen Cora and her husband took action: they founded the Willows Maternity Sanitarium. Established in 1905, it became the Ritz of maternity homes, offering massage and spa treatments to anonymous girls who'd learned too late the consequences of sex in a society that repaid their ignorance with ostracism.
In this fictionalized epistolary account based on true events, Beverly Benson Van Horn weaves together fascinating stories of the inhabitants of the Willows. Part one spans 1905 to 1930 and introduces readers to well-drawn and varied characters, women with unique stories that brought them to the Willows. Part two covers 1930 to 1953 and follows the Willows as its numbers swell.
From a devastating fire to the stock market crash to a shocking scandal involving a fraudulent adoption, this work takes you on a sweeping historical journey. Between 1905 and 1969, roughly thirty thousand babies wee adopted from the Willows. From the early stigma of unwed pregnancy to the closing of the Willows due to the availability and prevalence of abortion, Unfortunate Women shines a light on the unsung heroism of the many women who've chosen to bless others by giving up something precious.