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Plain, in gray homespun and prayer cap, gifted teenaged Hetty has one desire in life. To sing. But the Brethren tradition in the mountain village of Singer’s Glen, Virginia, forbids a girl to perform in public.
Tragedy forces Hetty to live with her austere grandmother until catastrophe pushes her to run away and seek shelter with an eclectic group of Christian ladies living in a former Madam’s house in Ohio. Under the tutelage of a noted maestro she becomes a famous singer, the new Nightingale of Cincinnati.
Naïve and vulnerable to the ways of the world, Hetty fears the curse of an ancient evil skylark which is ever present, ever threatening to send her into a spiral of illness and disorder. She falls under the spell of a man, finds herself pregnant, and at his mercy. She must decide whether to marry this man, the father of her unborn child.
The skylark sings as her husband cruelly forces her into his life of lies, gambling, and crime. At the breaking point, to avoid succumbing to his evil, she fights with her one last weapon: she wills her voice to silence. Will the skylark’s curse triumph or will she be the greatest singer to come from the Shenandoah Mountains?