For aspiring writer Amen McBee, life at the end of the nineteenth century with her four older sisters (Augusta, Abigail, and the "Bellas," twins Annabella and Arabella) is full of adventure. The only trouble in Amen's life is Mr. Tominski, the strange old man who lives in the woods and keeps a trained flock of doves. Her sisters warn Amen that the dove keeper is not the be trusted, but Amen's father insists that Mr. Tominski wouldn't hurt a soul. Who is right?