Theodora is fourteen when her father Elkanah has a mysterious vision. Soon after, he leaves his family and goes to live with his first wife Pearl. It is up to Theodora and her half-brother Samuel to bring him back. Meanwhile, Samuel's grandfather Elias is dying, and Theodora begins to see a black cat that could not possibly be real. As present-day events collide with stories from a distant past, the world begins to seem a more complex place, full of uncertainty, great wonder and inspiration.