Growing up in a poorhouse at the end of the 19th century, exceptionally gifted young painter Annie Robbins sets out on an adventurous journey to find her father, who vanished without trace when she was very young. When pupils at Annie’s historic school begin dying in a dreadful way, Annie and her best friend Martha find themselves hunting for an ancient secret society. They begin a fascinating journey into the forgotten past of their hometown, where past and present merge in mysterious ways behind old paintings.
Could you ever imagine that paintings are alive?
Along the way, they encounter strange and fanciful people – an unknown uncle whose best friend is a statue, a charming boy living on the streets, who appears both in Annie’s dreams and in waking life. Even Annie’s beloved grandmother seems to know more about the mystical story of their ancestors than she is willing to share. In the end, the threads draw together into what seems to be an ingenious trap that seems designed to guide Annie to a specific place at a specific time to free the former rulers from an ancient spell, when Annie discovers that she possesses an extraordinary magical talent.