"How can one month change everything?" Catherine Ames's father is a traveler — he always has been. And except for fleeting visits which always left Catherine yearning for more, her father has always been a mystery to her. So when Mr. Ames suggests a month-long stay at a summer cabin in Nova Scotia for just the two of them, Catherine is thrilled. "Finally," she will know her father as the other girls at school know theirs — his habits, his laugh, and most of all, his wonderful stories. But their summer of discovery is soon overshadowed by Mr. Ames's unpredictability. He drinks a lot — more than Catherine imagines other fathers drink. Up close, her fancy-free father seems different — darker, like the Nova Scotian night sky. As the sun sets on their month together, Catherine struggles against the terrible things she is learning about her father. How can the man she grew up wishing was near seem so far away now? And how can she bring him back to her?