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Last Updated on May 6, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 109

In August 1869, Wisconsin teenager Katherine Lunden deviates from her family's plans for her to visit and work for relatives in Michigan. Instead, thinking she has been forgotten at the train station, she is motivated by the discovery of an unclaimed suitcase marked with the name Edith Shay to travel to Chicago where she has long dreamed of going. In that city, Katherine secures employment and makes friends. She assumes the identity of Edith Shay when people think that is her name because it is on the suitcase she carries. Katherine later leaves Chicago and attempts to locate the real Edith Shay. She reinforces her own identity in the process.

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