An aura of mystery surrounds the southern Ohio farm country. There's a backwoods, private nature to its people. In this setting, Gilly Nolan, a young woman torn by divorce and trying to raise two young sons, comes back home to her father's farm and to the small community of Danesboro, Ohio, a town fighting to stay in business with large farming conglomerates gobbling up small farmers. Gilly's hoping to find comfort from the people she grew up with and especially from Calvin Dane, a second father to her.
But something peculiar has been happening in this town. A year before, her best friend, Shirley, gave birth to a pitiful monstrosity of a child. The baby is dead now and Shirley seems to be going out of her mind. Furthermore, Gilly's seven-year-old son, Teddy, keeps insisting he's seen a monster lurking in the woods.
Gilly meets Pete Jacoby, who's inherited the farm up the road from his uncle. Calvin Dane dislikes him from the beginning, so when Gilly begins to feel the pull of attraction for Pete, she knows she's being disloyal to Calvin. The tangle of relationships and the mystery of her best friend draw Gilly and her sons deep into a bizarre and dangerous secret.