When the women in the Sparrow family reach thirteen, they develop a unique ability.
In young Stella's case, the gift, which is both a blessing and a curse, is the ability to see a person's probable future.
Stella foresees a gruesome murder, and tells her charming, feckless father about it, but it is too late - the murder has already been committed and suspicion falls on him.
Her mother Jenny, on the other hand, can read other people's dreams, but so often misinterprets them, to her own cost.
Hoffman unlocks the caskets of family life and the secret history of a community in this magical story about young love and old love, about making choices - usually the wrong ones - about foresight and consequences, all suffused with the haunting scent of roses and wisteria, and the hum of bees on a summer evening.