Ann Vickers by Sinclair Lewis
Ann Vickers follows the heroine, from tomboy school girl in the late 19th century American Midwest, through college, and into her forties. It charts her postgraduate suffragist phase in the early 20th century. As a suffragist, she is imprisoned, and her experiences there lead her to become interested in social work and prison reform. As a social worker in a settlement house in the First World War, she has her first sexual love affair, becomes pregnant, and has an abortion. Later, having become successful running a modern and progressive prison for women, she marries a dull man, more out of loneliness than love. Mired in a rather loveless marriage, she falls in love with a controversial (and perhaps corrupt) judge. Flouting both usual middle-class convention as well as that of her progressive social circle in New York, she becomes pregnant by the judge, having a son.