John W edited the summary of The Crimson Petal and the White Saturday, April 23, 2011.
Sugar, a nineteen year old Victorian London prostitute, has only known life in the brothel environs being raised for her present career by the enterprising Mrs. Castaway. Miss Sugar, talented and skilled in her profession, is popular among the Victorian elite, which she uses to better her life and to free herself from her seamier life into Victorian society.
Sugar attracts the attentions of William Rackman, heir to Rackman Perfumeries, who is married to Agnes, a young woman who suffers from mental illness and rarely leaves the confines of her bedroom. After one visit with and manipulation by Ms. Sugar, he purchases the exclusive right to her sexual services setting her up in her own residence as his mistress.
However, Sugar begins stalking the family, which includes one daughter, Sophie, secreting following their lives in Victorian society. When the opportunity presents itself, Sugar becomes the governess for Sophie.