Subscribe to our blog Like us on Facebook Subscribe to our YouTube Channel Follow us on Twitter Follow us on instagram Follow us on Tumblr
  • All Fontana Regional Library Locations will be closed Monday, May 27th for the Memorial Day holiday.

The unfit heiress

Farley, Audrey Clare

At the turn of the twentieth century, many American women began to cast off the restraints of Victorian propriety, choosing instead to chase passion and fulfillment outside the home. This revolution in morals alarmed authorities, who feared certain "over-sexed" women could destroy civilization if allowed to pass their defects to their children. The newly popular science of eugenics offered a disturbing solution. In 1934, aided by California state eugenics law and inspired by greed, famed socialite Maryon Cooper Hewitt conspired with two corrupt doctors to sterilize her "promiscuous" daughter without her knowledge. She did so to deprive Ann of millions of dollars from her father's estate, as Ann's inheritance depended on continuing the family lineage. A sensational court case ensued, captivating the American public, as well as eugenicists, who saw it as a pivotal moment to restrict reproductive rights for decades to come. The riveting story in THE UNFIT HEIRESS unfolds through the brilliant research of Audrey Clare Farley, who captures the interior lives of these women and poses questions that remain relevant today: What does it mean to be "unfit" for motherhood? In the battle for reproductive rights, can we forgive the women who side against us? And can we forgive our mothers if they are the ones who inflict the deepest wounds?


Audrey Clare Farley ; read by Lisa Flanagan

Read by Lisa Flanagan.

Target Readership: