Ever since the terrible year when first his mother and then his brother died, 12-year-old Peter Devon has been sent away to school. This summer, he hopes to convince his father to let him stay year-round on Kilmarnie, their Jamaica coffee plantation. But Mr. Devon is still preoccupied with his loss.
Into their lives comes Zackie Leonard, an independent island boy. Peter admires Zackie's pride and knowledge of the land, and to his delight, Mr. Devon also takes an interest in Zackie. But Zackie is burdened, too, with the support of his alcoholic, drug-addicted father. And a rash of burglaries in the village brings the police in search of the Jamaican boy. Peter believes in his friend. When Zackie runs away, though, it is hard to be sure. Could he be the thief?
Hugh B. Cave has crafted vivid characters and a strong sense of place in a compelling story about the healing power of friendship.