Turner Buckminster moves to Maine when his father takes a position as a minister in Phippsburg in the early 1900's. Turner becomes friends with Lizzie Bright who is from a poor island community founded by former slaves. As he develops relationships with Lizzie and others from the town, he faces prejudice and other social difficulties. It is interesting to watch the growth of the characters as they face adversity. While the book addresses some tough topics, it also has its lighter moments as well. I found myself laughing over the funny situations and things the characters do.
The author's note at the end gives the historical background of the actual poor island community that is destroyed in the hopes of making the town in Maine more attractive to tourists and enriching the business owners.
If you have a 9-13 year old, get the audiobook and listen to it on a trip. Discuss race, the treatment of others, friendship, religion, following the crowd, and the way things were different in the early 1900's. Talk to your children, and listen too...you might learn something!
Modern day Phippsburg does look like a nice place to visit in the summer: