Two seemingly unrelated stories —the first in pictures, the second in words—together create a beguiling narrative puzzle. The book opens with an uninterrupted illustrated story that sweeps us through five generations of a legendary family, beginning in 1766 with Billy Marvel. He survives a devastating shipwreck and grows up in a London theater. There his progeny flourish as brilliant stage actors—until the youngest Marvel, Leontes, runs away into the fire of an unknown future. A century later, Joseph Jervis, another outsider on the run, seeks refuge with an estranged uncle at his mysterious house in London, where ships and fires, theater programs, and ghostly presences abound. Even more enigmatic is stormy Uncle Albert who won’t answer Joseph’s questions about the house or about an old photo of a boy whose eyes haunt Joseph. So Joseph sets out to solve the mysteries on his own . . . because his future may depend on it.