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household in Buffalo, NEW YORK Having inherited the bankruptcy of
her long-gone alcoholic husband, the potential calamity of her
family’s legacy weighs on her shoulders. She houses her orphaned
niece, Audra, along with her daughter, Flora — a quick-witted
adolescent. All the while, Maslow’s own daughter, Estella, has an
alarmingly eccentric streak with musical compulsions, a temper, and
she reads books: all grave symptoms of hysteria.
When Estella’s newlywed husband, Dr. Parch, visits from an

assignment abroad, he brings piano music composed by Queen
of Hawaii. Being a piano student herself, this instantly
fascinates Estella. Dr. Parch explains how the queen was just
imprisoned in her palace. Having lately felt oppressed herself,
Estella becomes emotionally vested in the queen’s anguish.
Preoccupied and fascinated by his much younger wife’s
modern ailment, Dr. Parch leaves Estella in the care of his
surrogate, Dr. Warren Briggs. Because medical advancements
are “propelling at newfound speeds,” Dr. Parch pushes Dr.
Briggs to use the most current methods in treating his wife’s
Mrs. Maslow is the matriarch of an industrial-era