I'm only about 50 pages in, so put on your hard hat for this early description.... But I can tell you the research has been fascinating and I'm learning so much. Characters are emerging. Palermo, Italy, New York City, and Best, North Carolina, are all starting to take shape. As with any study of history, it's startling to me how many of the late 19th-century issues of refugees and have parallel modern day struggles.
Here's the Pitch--so far:
“Downton Abbey” meets House of Mirth meets The Man from St. Petersburg meets today's New York Times
Rich with the details of Gilded Age excess, social turmoil and political battles over the latest wave of immigrants— the “huddled masses” welcomed by the new Statue of Liberty’s inscription but reviled by many cultural leaders as dangerous--Biltmore encapsulates all the best, worst and most fascinating of late 19th-America.