Boston, Massachusetts 1880...Charles Brennan, obsessed by greed, abused his power as a husband and employer, isolating his wife, Rose, and violating the household help. In an act of desperation, one of them murdered him, releasing them all from his control, but not from the guilt and shame they buried deep within. Through the Open Door, a sequel to Kitchen Canary, meets the characters seven years later. The killer recounts the abuse inflicted by Charles Brennan and describes the final acts of cruelty that led to his murder. When the doors of freedom opened, each of the victims followed their own path. Rose Brennan is a shrewd business women, who imports high end art and furnishings for the wealthy occupying Back Bay. She is the matriarch of the 'family,' her children and the victims of her late husband's cruelty. Rose's son, Charles, moved to Europe in search of exotic imports for his mother's business. Margaret, sullen and irascible, cannot find her place in the world.. Virginia, the child conceived by an Irish domestic and Charles Brennan, is approaching adolescence, and wants to know about her birth story. The Irish domestics are established with husbands and families. The Irish have a foothold in politics, with a plan to elect the first Irish Catholic mayor of Boston. Moira and Paddy McMahon's marriage, built on a foundation of secrets and lies, crumbles when Paddy finds the lure of politics greater than his love of family. Moira seeks the counsel of a new pastor, while Paddy comforts himself with whiskey, gambling and women. Boston's wealthy are moving to the new Back Bay. Katie O'Neil's husband, Sean, is at the center of the building boom. He offers a job to Etta's son. Matthew finds the logging camp in Maine a dreary and cold place to work. He's frozen out by the white Irish, rejecting him for his race. It takes all his strength to prevail as a negro in a white world. The freed slaves, Etta and William , continue to work for Mrs. Brennan. William, now married, observes their lives from afar, while Etta immerses herself and her sons, Matthew and Luke in the 'family.' Her sense of security is shattered when she learns Luke's actions could jeopardize her home and livlihood. Through the Open Door describes the effects of the abuse of power on its victims as they continue their lives. Through the experiences of its characters, it pays homage to the courageous men and women who left their homelands to assure a better life for their families, and provides the reader with an understanding of the rejection, humiliation and ultimate bravery of freed negroes as they assimilated into an unwelcoming white culture. Through the Open Door celebrates the accomplishments of the children of immigrants, and serves as a reminder that throughout the generations, joy, acceptance, heartbreak and loss are a part of every family's story.