A friendship blooms amidst the weedpatch of life in a coastal community in Maine in 1912. Turner Buckminster is new to town and doesn't quite fit in. He doesn't play baseball the right way. He wears too nice of clothes, and besides that, he's the preacher's son. Lizzie Bright Griffin is kept on the fringes because she's a colored girl from Malaga Island. The two meet while they're both trying to find some thinking space along the shores. Lizzie has rowed over from the island to dig for clams, and Turner has escaped the heat, from the sun and society.