The novel takes place in a quirky little town in North Carolina. Emily arrives to stay with her grandfather Vance after her mother dies. Emily had never met him because her mother refused to talk about her past. Emily is shocked to see that Vance is eight feet tall. She soons realizes that there are a lot of strange things happening in and around his house. The wallpaper in her room changes with her mood and tiny sparkling lights dance all around the house and fields.
The towns people shun her because of something horrible her mother did when she was a teen living in town. But she makes a friend who helps her to make sense of it all.