Phoebe Pyncheon hasn't had an easy life. Alone and out of work, she does her best to make ends meet while she finishes her debut novel. Eventually, she is forced to move into her Great Aunt Hester's boarding house. Known as the House of Seven Gables, this Victorian mansion is a maze of decrepit halls, musty old furniture, and faded glamour. At first, Phoebe feels at home in the strange, quirky old house. But soon she senses a presence lurking in the shadows, just out of sight.