It is the summer of 1899 and fifteen-year-old Olympia Biddeford is spending the summer with her parents at their seasonal house at Fortune's Rocks. When the celebrated essayist John Haskell is invited to stay, Olympia is immediately captivated by his charm and mystery. Despite being a married man of forty, Haskell seduces Olympia and they embark on a whirlwind affair.
But when their secret is revealed, Olympia is taken back to Boston in shame. When she gives birth, the child is taken away and Olympia is exiled to a private ladies collage. But she must get her child back, and that means returning to Fortune's Rocks.