In Newfoundland’s Cook’s Cove, summers are short but sweet. Fifteen-year-old Melinda is looking forward to two idyllic months of garden parties and socials with her cousins Rebecca and Kate.
Rebecca’s the goody, goody homemaker, well trained by her strict and formidable mother, Grace. Studious Kate is determined not to let a boyfriend get in the way of her plans for the future. Then there’s outspoken, scandalous Melinda with her smoking and drinking and sneaking off with her boyfriend, with whom she is tempted to do "dangerous things down behind the ﬁsh shack." The girls are like sisters and nothing can ever come between them.
But when a stranger comes to the village and invites Rebecca to go to Boston to develop her artistic talent, the cousins are suddenly exposed to the possibilities and dreams of the outside world.
Aunt Grace however forbids Rebecca to leave. The question is why and impetuous Melinda leads the crusade to find out. The discovery brings her face to face with desperately difﬁcult choices as she ﬁnds that she herself has become the keeper of the family secrets.