A dazzlingly inventive tale of troubled legacies, desire and unsung power, inspired by The Scarlet Letter. Glasgow, 1829: Isobel, a young seamstress, and her husband Edward set sail for New England, in flight from his mounting debts and addictions. But, arriving in Salem, Massachusetts, Edward soon takes off again, and Isobel finds herself penniless and alone. Then she meets Nathaniel, a fledgling writer, and the two are instantly drawn to each other: he is haunted by his ancestors, who sent innocent women to the gallows during the Salem witch trials – while she is an unusually gifted needleworker, troubled by her own strange talents. Nathaniel and Isobel grow ever closer. Together, they are dark storyteller and muse; enchanter and enchanted. But which is which?