Widower Jeremiah Guttermann marries a young Irish woman and brings her to his Midwest farm. She brings with her a culture of superstition. Jeremiah tires of these tales, but soon begins to believe they are harmful to his two children. He rails against them but Jeremiah has his own spiritual hang-up, his loyalty to the folklore of an ages-old brotherhood. He ignores the dark side of this folklore and thus is unable to protect his children from great harm, tragedy that reaches into the second and third generation of Jeremiah's family.
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