Every year, from the end of June to the end of August, Bruce and his family go to their cedar-clad cottage on the blue, wide lake on the edge of the wilderness. At first, the summer of 1954 seems like any other. But just when he realises life is perfect, everything starts to change. He's ten, the family dynamics are shifting, and over the summer both the harshness of the adult world and the patterns of the natural world reveal themselves. By the time the weather turns he will be a different child, and will have chosen his own path to understanding the world.