In the mid 17th century, when the Dutch first established a settlement on the island of Manhattan, Gretje Reyniers was the town whore. She also lent money and dealt in pelts. She is listed in the court records; whom she slandered and sued; who sued ...
and slandered her back; debts welshed on; debts demanded; minor assaults; charges on lewdness. Michael Pye discovered Gretje Reyniers while researching the early history of New York. Nothing was known about her until she arrived in America, so he has conjured a life for her: a childhood in Amsterdam in the 1620s, where she grew up working with the fishwives, as a maid to a whore; where she has a child, married, was widowed until her emigration to the colonies. This book is part history, part love story, part memoir, and above all, an account of one woman's life.