Ellie Hogan is 42 years-old (I can already relate), and she is the mother of two boys (more relating going on here). She has lost two husbands to war, and now finds herself single and successful living on Fire Island, New York. She is an Irish immigrant and has worked her all her life to support herself and now her two boys. She has become a successful Irish artist in New York City. It is in the city that she resides during the colder months. However, it is in the summers, that she escapes to Fire Island with her younger son, Tom. to lead a simpler and more life. She feels she has found a balance in her life…she is content.
Her older son, Leo, attends boarding school in New York City. He is a dreamer and a romantic. At 16 years-old, he believes he has discovered his life’s passion….acting. He runs away to Hollywood to live with an “agent” and to start acting in motion pictures. When Ellie discovers of Leo’s disappearance, she leaves for California immediately. Once she finds Leo safe and happy….she does something most parents would question. Instead of insisting that Leo return to boarding school with her, she sends for Tom and all of her belongings to be sent to them in California. She has decided to support Leo in his decision.
The story that follows is one of love, war, disappointment and loss. There are many colorful characters in this book, but none of them outshine Ellie…ultimately, this is her journey and she learns that life takes you on various paths throughout its course and sometimes it is best not to fight the path….but to journey on and let fate take over.