The first novel in the Idle Hour Series
The First World War is raging in Europe. The Norwegian Thoresen family are struggling bakers in Christiania as flour supply is running short. But one day an invitation arrives from an aunt in America for their eldest daughter Thea. She is invited to work for the affluent Vanderbilt family. This kind of job could give her the means to support her family in Norway. If she accepts, she will have to say goodbye to her sweetheart Hans who has marriage in mind.
Still Thea makes the brave choice and travels across the Atlantic to a life she could never have imagined. As a housemaid in the Vanderbilt’s holiday home Idle Hour on Long Island, she Discovers the existence of a fixed order of rank even among the servants. In this land of freedom for all, she realizes everything is different. And Thea is at the bottom of the ladder, among the invisible ones.
She relies on her aunts, but they hide a secret that Thea eventually is forced to carry with them in order to prevent their world from collapsing. And when the unfairness of the Vanderbilt system also leads to consequences for the servants, Thea is forced to question not only what is right, but also who she is and what she stands for.