Set against the backdrop of the Salem witch hunts, Elizabeth Gaskell's somber novella reveals much about the complicity of mankind. Recently orphaned, Lois is forced to leave the English parsonage that had been her home and sail to America. When the girl joins her distant family, she finds jealousy and dissension are rife, and her cousins quick to point the finger at the "imposter." With the whole of Salem gripped by a fear of the supernatural, it seems her new home is where she is in most danger. Lonely and afraid, the words of an old curse return to haunt her.