Popular Eastern Shore writer Don Parks uses a novelist’s imagination and insider’s knowledge to dramatize the struggles of traditional Chesapeake Bay island communities early in the twentieth century.
Arthur Crockett, an unsophisticated but courageous young man from the fictional Caplan’s Island, is swept up in a host of changes, beginning with service of a draft notice for duty in World War I. He joins his good friend Horace Stevens in a long day and night’s journey by steamboat to Camp Meade near Baltimore. During leave time from training in Alabama, Arthur meets and is smitten by the daughter of a Presbyterian minister.
Marjorie Symington bowls over everyone but Arthur’s mother. The battle between these two women becomes almost as fateful for the course of Arthur’s life as the trench warfare in France waiting for him and Horace. All the old verities of life on the water seem under assault, but Arthur’s common sense and sturdy faith show him what he needs to do—even when it is not easy.