Carrie Buck, a young woman living in early-20th-century Virginia, is raped and becomes pregnant by a family member – and her trauma is only beginning. She is deemed a “deviant” for having a child out of wedlock and, for that reason, is a candidate for sterilization.
Louisa Van Patten, a New York socialite, is an advocate of the eugenics movement, which promotes this punishment.
When Carrie and Louisa meet, along with journalist Ben Newman, during a national debate about the merits of forced sterilization, all their lives – and ours – are changed forever.
Paula Paul’s historical novel The Mind of a Deviant Woman offers a thrilling story based in extensive research into a little-known, but devastating, part of American history.