After an absence of many years, Nathan Elliott returns to the lakeside village of Wellington in Ontario's Prince Edward County to be at his dying father's side. Within a few days of his return, his brother reports that Nathan disappeared while the two were cutting firewood and no trace of him can be found. Shortly after, Nathan's wife arrives in the village. Claiming that she can contact the dead, she begins to hold s ances for the villagers. Thaddeus Lewis, a Methodist circuit rider, is outraged. Lewis's ethical objections propel him on a twisted path. On his journey, Lewis encounters towering sand dunes and a mysterious wild boy. After coming up against greed, fraud, and murder, can Lewis learn the truth about Nathan Elliott? Religious conflict and political dissension all play a part in this tale set in 1844 Upper Canada.