It's four o'clock on a February morning in the small attic bedroom of an old Missouri Ozarks farmhouse. Fifty-year-old Amelia desires nothing more than to sleep just a few more hours but her elderly mother, Ethel, comes knocking on the bedroom door. What's so important it has to be talked about tonight? Does it involve Ethel's plans to sell the farm? Or does it concern Amelia's brother, Gideon, and the night he "up and left us" 20 years ago? Or might it have to do with the mysterious grey bird that appears at the kitchen window, hours before a death in the family?