I wasn't yet born when the mine closed. There was dismay, despondency and wailing from the shacks, but not at our house. This was our moment. Northern Consolidated had just been tripped up by international finance and was being dragged along behind the plummeting price of zinc. It had reached the bottom and had wet itself. We weren’t going to shed any tears. Our mine had been returned to us.
The twenty-one children of the Cardinal family have congregated to celebrate their father, who discovered the mine around which their now-desolate town was built. As the siblings run wild, we discover that Angele, the only Cardinal with a penchant for happiness, is missing -- although everyone pretends not to notice. Why the silence? What secrets does the mine hold?