1843 is the "last year of the world," according to Elias Fitcher, a charismatic preacher in the Finger Lakes district of New York State. He's established a utopian community on an estate outside the town of Jekyll's Glen, where the faithful wait, work, and pray for the world to end. Vernelia, Amy, and Catherine Charter are the three young townswomen whose father falls under the Reverend Fitcher's hypnotic sway. In their old house, where ghostly voices whisper from the walls, the girls are ruled by their stepmother, who is ruled in turn by the fiery preacher. Determined to spend Eternity as a married man, Fitcher casts his eye on Vernelia, and before much longer the two are wed. But living on the man's estate, separated from her family, Vern soon learns the extent of her husband's dark side. It's rumored that he's been married before, though what became of those wives she does not know. Perhaps the secret lies in the locked room at the very top of the house - the single room that the Reverend Fitcher has forbidden to her.
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