Dear America: A City Tossed and Broken From National Book Award-winning author Judy Blundell, a thrilling account of the San Francisco Earthquake of 1906.
When Minnie Bonner's father disappears after losing the Bonners' Philadelphia tavern, the wealthy gentleman Edward Sump, led by his avaricious wife, offers Minnie a chance to work as a lady's maid to support her family. The Sumps have grand plans, grander than the city of Philadelphia can offer, however, and decide to move to San Francisco -- the greatest city in the west. But when a powerful earthquake strikes, Minnie finds herself the sole survivor among them. After the dust settles, Minnie discovers a bag belonging to the Sumps filled with cash and papers that could drastically change her fortune. With no one else to claim it, Minnie has turned into an heiress overnight.
Wealth comes at a price, though, and she is soon wrapped up in a deception that leads her down a dangerous path. As the aftermath of the earthquake ravages the city, Minnie continues to maintain her new identity. That is, until a mysterious but familiar stranger appears.