The year is 1901. England’s beloved queen has died, and her aging son has finally taken the throne. In the eastern city of Norwich, bright and inquisitive young Edith Holler spends her days among the boisterous denizens of the Holler Theatre, warned by her domineering father that the playhouse will literally tumble down if she should ever leave its confines. Fascinated by tales of the city she knows only from afar, she decides to write a play of her own: a stage adaptation of the legend of Mawther Meg, a monstrous figure said to have used the blood of countless children to make the local delicacy known as Beetle Spread. But when her father suddenly announces his engagement to a peculiar, imposing woman named Margaret Unthank, heir to the actual Beetle Spread fortune, Edith scrambles to protect her father, the theatre, and her play—the one thing that’s truly hers—from the newcomer’s sinister designs.