In high school, Tess and Jamie had something special going: the football star with the great voice was also an orphan, and he built his hopes and dreams around the girl he loved. But Tess' Father believed she was meant for greater things, and so, against her will, Tess left Jamie behind. Now, 10 years later, at the height of her success as a celebrity journalist in New York City, Tess walks around with a shell encircling her heart.
It begins with a postcard from Riley Brackett's wife to Clare McClendon, informing her that Riley has been in a serious accident and lost his memory of everything but her and the summer they spent together when Clare was 17. Could Clare come to Maine? Perhaps seeing her will cause Riley to recall his wife and two children, and the intervening years. Clare, dealing with a faltering marriage and her battle with breast cancer, agrees to the request against her better judgment.