Five years ago, Anne Tyler was banished from her home on Fire Island, New York by her father. Her eleven-year old brother, Joshua, is the catalyst for her return when he calls to report that their father, the keeper at the Fire Island Lighthouse, has suffered a serious accident. Tearfully, Joshua begs Anne to return to help run the light until their father can take over. Anne agrees to put aside her bitterness and returns in order to fulfill a promise she made to her mother before she died.
Anne soon discovers that her father’s accident was no accident and tries to find who attempted to kill her father, and why. Then, Anne’s old friend, Ethan—a simple-minded man, embroils her in the mysterious circumstances surrounding his wife’s drowning. Meanwhile, two men, the charming Clint, and handsome Daniel, bring romance into Anne’s life, but as mysterious incidents begin occurring, Anne knows she can’t trust anyone.
Anne also struggles with a tangle of mixed emotions she has toward her father. New information about her banishment surfaces, helping dissolve the bitterness she has harbored for so long. Anne is close to finding out who is responsible for her father’s near-fatal accident when an attempt is made on her own life—making it chillingly clear that someone wants Anne stopped. Permanently.