New Orleans, Summer 1965: Nancy Drew, the Beatles, Hurricane Betsy. For four young people, it is a time for sailing lessons, clandestine cigarettes, facts of life, guilty secrets.
Playing girl detectives, Peg and Emmaline hitchhike to the Winn-Dixie, where Emmaline hopes to find her runaway sister. Harry, Emmaline's brother, lurks on the edges of their toxic, disjointed family.
Meanwhile, Mimi catches the measles at her family's summer cottage. Sent home with the family's housekeeper, she gets a taste for grown-up adventure and a glimpse of the compromises and deceit that come with it.
As seasons and years go by, each of the four must come to terms with what happened that summer and what they did--or didn't do. Thanksgiving slowly reveals the adult ugliness festering beneath the summer idylls of childhood.