Julian Monroe, a child of mixed race, grows up on the shores of Lake Michigan. Her father-with whom she shares an intense bond-teaches her to sail, and she becomes fascinated with the art and science of navigation. After high school, she enlists, honing her craft as a Quartermaster aboard a Navy cruiser.
At age twenty-two, revelations of her family's biological makeup unfold, causing her to doubt everyone, everything she has trusted. For the first time in her life, she questions her own life-navigational skills-a map and compass aficionado utterly lost. She flees to the coast of Maine, navigating aboard a ferry that runs to Nova Scotia each day. She plods ahead at the emotional and economic poverty level, yet manages to connect with new friends, neighbors, lovers.
With them, she discovers that some of the richest destinations in life are those mapped by the wandering or by the lost.