Twenty some odd years after the death of old Dr. Brian, Vince, a young man recently discharged from the Army at the end of World War II, becomes infatuated when Ellie’s image smiles at him from the window of a passing bus. Then when he encounters her in a dream, and is lured to a flea market where he discovers an oil painting of her in an antique frame, he becomes even more intrigued. His obsession takes him to the previous owner of the portrait, who is the elderly spinster daughter of Dr. Brian, then to the ruins of the plantation in Mississippi, and finally to a nursing home and the woman, a centenarian and former slave who had lived at the plantation, and raised Ellie and Brian. The sprightly Miss Liza unfolds the story of her life at the plantation, and the concerns and tragic death of Ellie’s mother. She explains why she is still here, how she in implicated in the spell and the responsibility she was given by Ellie’s mother.
As the shadows hovering just beyond the edges of his mind draw closer and begin to take shape, Vince starts to understand his feelings, and why he is being entrusted with The Keeping of Ellie.
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