Childhood memories of a lonely and frightened summer she spent on Dolor Island had given Jennifer Langley, New York career girl, little reason to lie the island's mistress, her arrogantly selfish Aunt Evelyn. And so it was with reluctance that the adult Jennifer returned to the beautiful Florida island, to catalogue family possessions she would someday inherit.
Once there, she found herself groping through a maze of questions. What was the reason for the fear she glimpsed behind her Aunt Evelyn's coldly imperious mask? Why had she installed Amy Warren, dowdy widow and self-styled "white witch," as her permanent house guest? And what of Kevin Shaughnessy, her only ally that summer so many years ago? Why should he, with equally unpleasant childhood memories of the island, have returned here to work for Jennifer's aunt?