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Deep in the rugged Appalachians of North Carolina lies the cove, a dark, forbidding place where spirits and fetches wander, and even the light fears to travel. Or so the townsfolk of Mars Hill believe-just as they know that Laurel Shelton, the lonely young woman who lives within its shadows, is a witch. Alone except for her brother, Hank, newly returned from the trenches of France, she aches for her life to begin.

Then it happens-Laurel discovers a stranger in the woods, nearly stung to death by yellow jackets, and nurses him back to health. The man carries nothing but a beautiful silver flute and a note explaining that his name is Walter, he is mute, and is bound for New York. As the days pass, Walter slips easily into life in the cove and into Laurel’s heart, bringing her the only real happiness she has ever known.

But Walter harbors a secret that could destroy everything. Though the war in Europe is near its end, patriotic fervor flourishes among the superstitious and ambitious. In a time of uncertainty, when fear and ignorance reign, Laurel and Walter will discover that love may not be enough to protect them.

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