Crow has a lot of questions. At twelve years old, the only home she has know is Cuttyhunk, a tiny island in Massachusetts. The only family she knows is Osh, the man who rescued her when he found her washed up on shore in a skiff when she was only a baby and Miss Maggie, their neighbour who is both stern and compassionate at the same time.
Crow has a good life, but she wants to know where she's from and who her real parents are. One night, she spies a fire on Penikese a neighbouring island where no one ventures. Penikese has a dark past, one that Crow only half knows. Osh and Miss Maggie give her bits of information about the people that used to live there, how they suffered. Crow convinces Miss Maggie and Osh to take her to Penikese to investigate. What they find sets forth a series of events that will not only change Crow's life forever, it will also put them in grave danger.
This is a beautifully written novel. My family is from an island off of Nova Scotia called Cape Sable Island and I connected immediately with the descriptions of island life. Being covered in salty, sharp air, hunting for sea life in rock pools, gathering mussels when it's low tide and being a part of the lobster fishing community is in my blood. So I'm probably biased but I could read this book over and over again and not get tired of hearing about that life. Wolk has written a novel that speaks to anyone who has ever felt curiosity take over, who knows that friendship and family, when done right, can blend into one. It's a powerful book that deserves all of the praise it's currently receiving. I recommend it for ages 11 and up!