Scruples and Drams: A Novel of Minnesota's Main Street Women


With its arch-like trees covering the town, Clearwater provided a safe haven for Jennie Phillips, an apprenticing druggist in her father’s store in the late nineteenth century. While on a routine trip to deliver a prescription out in the country, she is alarmed when she encounters what some consider to be the ghost of murdered Irish girl roaming the Tamarack Swamp. She becomes obsessed with the unsolved case. At the same time, she struggles with her responsibility to uphold her father’s ethical practices when she learns what some women are using their over-the-counter patent medicines for. Yet when she learns that rape and burglary can take place even in her village, Jennie realizes Clearwater is not as idyllic as she once thought, and for many women, the art of living isn’t as exact as dispensing.

Cynthia Frank-Stupnik

2015, paper, 288 pp.

ISBN: 9780878397969