It's 1807 on the Isle of Eigg. Four-year old Maggie believes she has killed her mother by saying bad things and now she won't say a word. It's true that Ma's voice stays in the cottage even though Da says she's gone, and sometimes Maggie can see her in the shadows, but it's not the same thing as having a real ma. She's worried if she says anything, she will kill her da too.
She doesn't want him to die, and so no matter how much he tries to get her to, she won't speak.
The trouble is, the consumption that really took her ma and her premature sister, has marked Maggie too. It forces Da to marry Janet so Maggie can have a woman to look after her.
It gets harder for her to stay silent, though, because Janet tries just as hard to get Maggie to talk. She's not sure she can hold out when this new ma reveals secrets that make her squirm, that make her feel like Da is doing things he shouldn't be.
It seems there is more to worry about than a few words. He is indeed in trouble and much of that danger comes from the things his new wife isn't saying.
If she can just understand what Ma is telling her from those corners, Maggie will be able to face her fears and find her voice and true power. The question is: will that power be enough to bind the family together even against the darkest secrets?