The Story of the Fox Sisters, two little girls who started a new religion and then lost themselves to it.
It is 1848, a time of great change in America. A population explosion, mass migration and the new technologies of electricity, the telegraph and factory mechanization have all brought fundamental changes to people’s relationships with work, worth and each other. Along with new surges in infant mortality and death from infectious disease, the United States in on the brink of a civil war. People are uneasy.
Upper state New York becomes a hotbed of new, homegrown religions. Known as the “Burnt over Area,” we see the birth of the Mormons, Millerites and Seventh Day Adventists and several new utopian communities. Then, Maggie and Kate Fox, two little girls who hear the raps of a murdered peddler, begin to channel the voices of the dead and American Spiritualism is born.
SUMMERLAND follows the triumph and tragedy of these two little girls who, after becoming overnight celebrities, are exploited throughout the rest of their lives by almost everyone they encounter, including members of their own family and their supporters, both the good and the greedy.