Woman is born free, and everywhere she is in corsets. . . . Lili du Chatelet yearns to know more about her mother, the brilliant French mathematician Emilie. But the shrouded details of Emilie's unconventional life-and her sudden death-are elusive. Caught between the confines of a convent upbringing and the intrigues of the Versailles court, Lili blossoms under the care of a Parisian salonniere as she absorbs the excitement of the Enlightenment, even as the scandalous shadow of her mother's past haunts her and puts her on her own path of self-discovery. Laurel Corona's breathtaking new novel, set on the eve of the French Revolution, vividly illuminates the tensions of the times, and the dangerous dance between the need to conform and the desire to chart one's own destiny and journey of the heart.