The minute she had opened the trunk, she knew there wasn't anything like hope in it. Just awful musty things, but each one with a kind of terrible dark halo around it. She picked up that piece of old lace. She saw that stain -- pale, brownish in color. She knew it was blood. Somebody's blood. There was violence in that trunk, and dark secrets, and she did not want to know them.
Curious about the old homestead where she now lives, Jerry finds an ancient trunk in the basement that contains, among other things, an old piece of bloodstained lace, some letters, and a battered doll. The objects in the trunk have stories to tell -- stories about the Spanish Inquisition spanning nearly five hundred years and stories of secrets locked deep in the bloodlines of Jerry's ancestors.
Kathryn Lasky's powerhouse novel is a dramatic historical saga that brings the reader face-to-face with some of the worst atrocities ever committed against humankind in the name of God. But above all, it is an unforgettable coming-of-age story about a girl who, in connecting with her own past and faith, is at last able to face her own demons and liberate not only herself but also future generations of her family from the long chain of suffering and silence.