Award-winning teacher Clary Stone is home for the summer, helping her family and recovering from a personal tragedy. She loves her Wisconsin city on Lake Michigan, hoping to find what's left of herself in the familiar warmth and safety. At first, the city is the same, but she soon finds things have changed. Clary becomes involved in parts of the town that she's never seen or known before. The summer's odd journey leads her to the city's homeless shelter for small children.
Leefe Ellis manages the shelter and is totally unlike anyone Clary's ever met. Homeless since the age of three, Leefe reveals another side of life with remarkable courage, honesty, and humanity. Working side by side with the little children, both realize they are fellow travelers, but neither has met another person as completely different as they are from each other. It's often confusing, sometimes frightening, but always fascinating.