Margaret Lydia Benning, twenty-eight and adrift, still lives in the same Midwest town where she attended college. By day, she works at a low-level job for the Project, a university-funded educational publisher housed in a former sanatorium. There she shares the fourth floor with a squadron of eccentric editors and a resident ghost from the screamers’ wing. At night, Margaret returns to her small house on Mott Street, resigned to the disturbing overtures of her enigmatic neighbor, Mrs. Eberline.
Emotionally sleepwalking through the days is no way to lead a life. But then Margaret meets Ben Adams, a visiting professor of art at the university. Despite the odds, and their best intentions, she and her professor become lovers… until, inexplicably Ben vanishes. Following his disappearance, Margaret sets out to find him—a journey that leads her to question everything she has believed to be true.