Romeo & Her Sister
by Jillian Blevins
In 1845, Charlotte Cushman is the most famous American actress in the world, well-known for playing men’s roles in the plays of Shakespeare. Despite her international fame, she harbors a secret, hidden in plain sight: she loves women. Celebrated in her own country, she has brought her sister Susan to London to play Juliet to her Romeo. Old resentments between the sisters surface as Charlotte–along with Sallie, her dresser and closest confidant–struggles to balance her exploding career, her tumultuous relationship with writer Matilda Hays, and her affair with another young woman, all while keeping her personal life hidden from her fans, her sister, and her bitter rival, Edwin Forrest. Will the play be a success or a flop? Will Charlotte and Susan put aside their differences and come together in time for the curtain to rise? Will Forrest uncover Charlotte’s secret and use it to ruin her career? And can Charlotte allow anyone close enough to know the real her?