This is a multi-generational book on relationships, love, grief and growing. It is set in South County, RI and most of the story pivots on Refuge Beach State Park.
Mickey Halloran is a high school student with a love of nature. One of her favorite hobbies is bird watching and when she finds out that a Snowy Owl is at Refuge Beach she gets her best friend to go see it even though it's Feb and really cold.
Jenna is Mickey's best friend. They have been best friends since kindergarten and have always enjoyed bird watching together. Jenna though is moving on to other interests like boys and can't understand why Mickey isn't moving on with her.
Neve Halloran is Mickey's mother. She is divorced from Mickey's father and works at a local art gallery. She passed her love on nature on to Mickey and enjoys spending time at Refuge Beach.
Richard Halloran is Mickey's father. He is an alcoholic and can't seem to stay sober. He also is behind on child support payments and is now wanted by the courts. His girlfriend is also pregnant.
Tim O'Casey is the ranger at Refuge Beach. He obviously loves nature which he got from his father. He is divorced and his son, Frank, recently died in Iraq. He isn't on good terms with his father, Joe though he feels that fathers should be close to their children.
Joe O'Casey is a former Naval Officer from WWII. He is now takes in raptor that have been injured.
Shane West is a high school student but not a good one. He'd rather surf than do anything even though his father drowned when Shane was 3. Shane has been in trouble with the law a couple of times but he feels strongly about preserving Refuge Beach.
Mr Landry is a rich, well-known businessman. He wants to move a U-boat that was sunk off the coast of Refuge Beach and make a museum out of it. He doesn't seem to care what anyone thinks about this project only what he can get out of it. His family isn't from around South County and he has no ties to the area.
While I found this review hard to write, I loved reading this book.
There is one main plot but several subplots that impact the main one. The main plot is concerning the removal of the U-boat off of Refuge Beach. Shane wants it to stay as it makes the water break for good surfing. Mickey is not wanting the underwater environment disturbed. Tim is concerned that the beach will disappear and the parks entire character changed. Joe considers the area a memorial to the men he lost sinking the U-boat. Not everyone agrees that the U-boat should stay and Mr Landry has the money to get things done. In fact, Mr Landry has already called a press conference and rented a huge crane to move the U-boat. The question is, can they stop Mr Landry or will he get his museum?
Shane and Mickey have been in school together since elementary school but they really didn't know each other. Shane's main focus has always been surfing. He's gotten in trouble with the law before and isn't someone that Mickey's mom would really like her to hang out with. But when Mickey gets hurt and Shane's the one to come to her aid, can Neve change her mind about this troubled kid as Mickey gets closer to him? And where is Shane's mother? She never seems to be around and could that be part of his problems?
Shane has been assigned community service at Refuge Beach but park ranger, Tim doesn't want a trouble maker around. Still, Shane is a hard worker and does care about the park yet can Tim trust that Shane won't cause any more trouble?
Tim and Neve meet in the emergency room when Mickey is hurt at the park. They don't exactly get along and definitely have different points of views concerning kids and parents. So why are they attracted to each other and should they even attempt to follow up on it? And if they do, how will Mickey react to seeing her mother start dating?
Tim doesn't talk to his father. He would like a good relationship with him but it just doesn't seem to happen. Neither man likes t
New York Times bestselling author Luanne Rice takes us on a journey into the tender, unmapped territory that lies between mothers and daughters, and fathers and sons, in this mesmerizing new novel that travels into the past to find the key to a boundless future.