The story begins in 1882 during The American Gilded Age, a period when old money meets new. It centers around Marian Brook (Louisa Jacobson), a young woman who loses everything after the death of her father. As a result, she’s forced to move from Pennsylvania to New York, where she can live with her wealthy aunts, Agnes (Christine Baranski) and Ada (Cynthia Nixon), until she figures out her next move.
During her journey, she crosses paths with a young Black writer named Peggy Scott (Denée Benton). The pair bond after Marian’s purse is stolen, which prompts Peggy to lend her money for her travels.
After a series of unfortunate events, Marian invites Peggy to stay at her aunts’ house. While there, it becomes clear that Peggy doesn’t want to return home—in particular, she’s avoiding her father. The staff isn’t thrilled about Peggy’s presence, mainly because they’re concerned that she’ll steal their jobs.
Meanwhile, Marian finds herself in the middle of a social war between her aunt and the new matriarch across the street. Luckily, she has Peggy, who becomes her unexpected partner in crime.