Helen and Nate abandoned their city lives for rural Vermont, where they will build their dream home on their new property, amidst the woods and the nearby bog. Helen, formerly a history teacher, is intrigued when learns about Hattie Breckenridge, a woman who lived and died there nearly a century ago. Hattie’s tragic story becomes merged with the house when Helen used materials related to Hattie (such as a wooden beam made from the oak tree where she was hanged) to decorate the interior of the house she’s building, unwittingly inviting Hattie in. Hattie wants something from Helen, and she can’t rest until she gets it.
After the death of her father, Seraphine Mayes is going through his belongings when she comes across a photo taken on the day that she and her twin brother, Danny, were born. The photo shows their older brother, father, and mother, who is holding one baby in her arms and looks happy…. which is odd, because their mother committed suicide the day they were born. And why is there only one baby in the photograph? Which twin is in the photo, and where is the other one? Unable to get answers from her grandmother, Vera, Seraphine is determined to track down the only other person who was there that day—the au pair who disappeared after her mother’s tragic death.