Dora Chambers arrives in a Chicago captivated by the energy and optimism of the 1893 World’s Fair. The city glistens with possibilities and no one dwells on the past—which suits the young bride perfectly. There’s plenty she hopes to forget about her humble beginnings in New Orleans.
Her new husband, an ambitious banker, uses his connections to land Dora a place on the Fair’s Board of Lady Managers, an auxiliary made up of Chicago’s most influential society women—and the women who will either validate or ruin her newly attained upper class status.
Anxious to please, Dora is assigned to monitor the Midway’s Egyptian belly dancers, whose controversial performances are scandalizing the Fair. To prove herself to the Lady Managers, Dora must rein in the dancers, even as she grows increasingly sympathetic to their plight. She is fascinated by the dance, but it’s the level of friendship and acceptance she finds among the exotic Egyptians that wins her reluctant allegiance.
Dora also finds she cannot escape her past. A jealous rival among the Lady Managers unearths a dark secret in New Orleans and uses it to threaten Dora’s reputation. Facing an uncertain future, Dora draws upon what she has learned from the Egyptians, defies convention and social expectations, and reinvents herself as a belly dancer.
This is an interesting idea but its too unfocused to get out of the slush pile.
Start over. Hone your descriptions. "scandalous Egyptian belly dancers" works a lot better than " Egyptian belly dancers, whose controversial performances are scandalizing the Fair". Readers can pick up lots of info from context. You don't have to spell everything out.