Troubles beset eleven-year-old Esme. Dangled over wells, thrown into root cellars, and forced to empty chamber pots, she longs for a better life. Yet her latest runaway scheme has failed miserably, and her murderous guardian has sold her to a workhouse on Rag-Picker’s Row. Just in time, Esme hears a startling secret that could very well change her destiny.
She lights out on a golden journey with her cousin Tommy to recover (more than one) family treasure. Just as Esme starts to feel safe, tragedy strikes, making her reexamine the boundaries of friendship and the meaning of family.