Rose Callahan, newly appointed eldress of the community of Believers at the Kentucky Shaker viliage of North Homage, confesses to a nagging resentment toward Andrew, sent by the lead ministry in Mount Lebanon to act as trustee. She knows little about the man, except that he's taken charge of the Medicinal Herb Garden, over which Rose previously had control, and he's been expanding the tiny industry and experimenting with new medicinal herbs.
Now two little girls have suddenly become deathly ill, and Rose's attention turns to the herb garden. Suspecting that the girls may have taken a notion to nibble on pretty but poisonous plants, she fears their hallowed land may have accidentally been turned into a killing ground. But as Rose investigates, mysterious death invades the gentle oasis of their spiritual world, and some chilling secrets come to light...secrets that bring Rose closer to a truth that even a nonviolent Believer might kill to keep.