Abilene, dropped off by her father, Gideon, in the small, immigrant town of Manifest, Kansas, steps into a world of mystery. Two girls become friends and compatriots with Abilene, as the book flips between 1936 and 1918. In pursuit of a “spy,” the girls brush shoulders with the town's most eccentric residents, including Miss Sadie and her Divining Parlor. Abilene works off a debt to Miss Sadie and is the audience for her strange stories, which amazingly parallel the news clippings and objects which Abilene has found beneath the loose floorboards of her room at Shady's Tavern (and church!) Only really wanting to find out about her father's roots in this town, looking for him in every piece of evidence and detail, hoping he will return for her one day, Abilene uncovers a story which no one in Manifest has ever been able to tell!