On a rainy night in Philadelphia’s Ninth Street Market, sixteen-year-old Fiora is dumped at an old man’s door. Fiora’s mother told fortunes; now she’s dead, a victim of the influenza epidemic. The people in their immigrant community fear riling her spirit, and the old man, a widowed shoemaker ticking down his clock, is the only person brave enough to stand between Fiora and an orphanage. Fiora’s a modern, forward-thinking young woman, uninterested in using old-world magic to make a way for herself—but when she sees the old man will shortly die of a heart attack, she panics, and casts her entire neighborhood into a stagnant bubble of time where everything continues but nothing progresses: tomatoes won’t ripen, babies refuse to be born, and the sick suffer under the weight of a never-ending stream of unspent seconds. Not everything in the bubble is bad. Love, fresh and fascinating, ignites. Friendships take root. But as day drags into interminable day, the pressure inside the bubble world builds. If Fiora can’t figure out how to collapse it, every one of her hopes will be trapped in an unbearable, unyielding, unpredictable, and infinite Now.