Jewel never knew her brother Bird, but all her life she has lived in his shadow. Her parents blame Grandpa for the tragedy of their family's past; they say that Grandpa attracted a malevolent spirit - a duppy - into their home. Grandpa hasn't spoken a word since. Now Jewel is 12, and she lives in a house full of secrets and impenetrable silence. Jewel is sure that no one will ever love her like they loved Bird, until the night that she meets a mysterious boy in a tree.