Blanche is snatched from her husband and young child and taken to a state asylum for the insane. her hopes for rescue are dashed when she discovers her husband Earle had her committed and declared her dead. Has the death of her newborn indeed driven Blanche to madness or is her ordeal part of Earle’s plot to steal her inheritance? Blanche’s redemption begins with her assignment to organize the new asylum library. At the same time, she entertains her fellow inmates with experiences of fabulous meals and winged trips through the air and watches over her small daughter in the consciousness of birds. Are these supportive fantasies or delusions? Or are these experiences real? Earle’s dark secrets eventually come to light and Blanche triumphs, but not without a tragedy that costs her a friend and champion.
Inspiration for the story comes from the records of a North Carolina insane asylum in the 1920s.