A Maine author who makes expert use of her background has written another book set on the primitively beautiful Maine seacoast and peopled with the poverty ridden elannish folk of Backy's island and the well-to-do tradition-bound members of the New England gentry. The Conrad clan had arrived at their summer home with the usual expectations of an eventful family summer. Vicky Conrad contemplating her coming out party and college in the fail is vaguely discontented. So it is no wonder that she finds herself rowing quietly out to Backy's island early one morning and into the most satisfying summer of her life. By virtue of their history, the inhabitants of the destitute island are obstracized by the people of the mainland, and ruled by a suspicious old codger called King Harry. Vicky is shocked by conditions there, captivated by the charming little and her brother and intrigued by luke, a shell-collecting beachcomber. Through her efforts, friendly communications between the mainland and the outcast island begin, a school is built and King Harry's power declines. Most important, the islanders slowly regain their dignity. This is a touching portrait of a young girl's awakening to social responsibility and an unsentimental exposure of the rugged Yankee of contrasting social classes.