The life of ten-year-old Zac Sparks changes overnight when his mother is killed by lightning. He's sent to live in Five Corners with his Aunties, two cruel old hags who seem determined to make his life miserable. Before long Zac realizes something really strange is going on: Five Corners is populated with many interesting characters--a dwarf butler, a girl who doesn't speak, a blind balloon seller, and a mysterious singer he can hear but not see. Then there's the Aunties' father, Dada. Zac's first encounter with Dada is so terrifying he faints dead away. The one bright spot is Sky Porter, the proprietor of the general store across the street, a friendly soul who encourages Zac--when the Aunties aren't looking--and shows him a kindness that is lacking from his dismal life. But Sky isn't what he seems either, and when Zac learns Sky's secret, he realizes, to his dismay, that this wonderful man may have a very dark side after all.
When Zac discovers that the secret behind Dada and the strangeness of Five Corners, he knows many lives are at stake, including his own. With time running out, he must turn to the one person who might be able to help: Sky Porter. But can Zac trust him?