Orphaned fifteen-year-old Judith Sparrow brings two secrets to her uncle's house in South Carolina: one, that her grief-stricken mother died in a madhouse, the other that she has disobeyed the only condition to living in her uncle's home -- nothing green is allowed in the house. Judith can't bear to part with the photograph of her mother in its lovely green silk frame. Surely this one small defiance will not jeopardize the happiness she finds in South Carolina -- with a family at last, and new friends, especially Zeke Carey, the miller's son. But Uncle Geoffrey's house holds a secret of its own. And Judith's small picture frame, hidden away at the bottom of her trunk, unleashes a powerful force that seems determined to bring that secret into the open. Or is Judith simply following her mother down the path toward madness?
Recently orphaned, Judith Sparrow moves into her uncle's large, forbidding house and hears tales of its terrible past.