A moving story set in the twilight of childhood.
In the year 1904, Fred Dickinson teeters on the brink of manhood. He is spending the last summer of his childhood at his grandfather’s family cottage on Rideau Lake, the only place he feels truly alive. Shy and stuttering, Fred’s ambition is to make his living on the water, mapping the lake for hidden shoals. His father however, has other plans. Believing Fred to lack character, his father is arranging for him to work in the city to toughen him up.
Fred’s summer is one of love, adventure, and mystery. He falls in love and suffers heartache, discovers a long-buried secret about a rumoured murderer, and defies his father for the first time. Although he started the summer as an outcast, Fred eventually succeeds in finding his own place among his family and friends.
Using as a backdrop the actual 1904 diary of a young man, Julie Johnston invents a captivating tale of discovery, youthful passion, and intrigue, recapturing the atmosphere of a time less hectic, less sophisticated.
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