Scruples & Drams, A Novel of Minnesota’s Main Street Women




With its arch-like trees covering the town, Clearwater provided a safe haven for Jennie Phillips, an apprenticing druggist in her father’s store in the late nineteenth century. While on a routine trip to deliver a prescription out in the country, she is alarmed when she encounters what some consider to be the ghost of murdered Irish girl roaming the Tamarack Swamp, a case she becomes obsessed with because it has never been solved. She struggles with her responsibility to uphold her father’s ethical practices when she learns how some women are using the over-the-counter patent medicines, those purchased at their store. Yet when she learns that rape and burglary can take place even in her village, Jennie realizes Clearwater is not as idyllic as she once thought, and for many women, the art of living isn’t as exact as dispensing.