Clare lives in an alley shack in Chicago's poorest ward in 1894. She sews buttons and hems for Mr. Jones, the sweat boss, and only has a few pennies left to buy bread. Her mother has gone away. Clare doesn't know where or when she's coming back, but she is about to stumble upon a mystery that could change her life forever. It all begins with Simmie, her ragged doll, and a taffy tin full of secrets.