The Sewell mansion, the height of elegance in 1928 New York City, conceals many mysteries. Rose Sewell, locked in her rooms upstairs, is consumed by art and said to be crazy. Twelve-year-old Martha, outspoken with the nuns one time too many and expelled from school, now works for the Sewells as a chambermaid. Who locks his wife up and pretends everything is normal? Overwhelmed by curiousity about Rose and Mr. Sewell, who is the model of success in the newspaper world, Martha pops the bubble of secrecy and cleverly exposes the truths of the wealthy and powerful.