As a young woman raised in the soot-covered mediocrity of an English industrial town, Isabel has led a common and directionless life. Secretly she yerns to be the center of something, anything, that is memontous and vital. She dreams of making marks on the world. Her new job as housekeeper is hardly exciting but does allow her to explore Grace Mansion and observe the habits of its enigmatic owner Dr. Edward Grace. Captivated by his tales of travel to Africa, and haunted by the disturbing history of the estate, Isabel is inexorably drawn into a tumultuous relationship which eventually reveals the Grace family's dark heritage and lays bare every secret, even the ones she keeps from herself--Publisher's description.