Brisbane 1866. Lucy Dougall dies; her four children orphaned. Fifteen-year-old Sarah will do whatever it takes to keep her siblings together. When disaster strikes, Sarah is overwhelmed with self-loathing and grief. It is the proprietor of Millie’s Mariner’s Rest; Hotel and Lodging who takes the family in and offers Sarah work. Can Millie help Sarah overcome her psychological scars and guide the young girl to maturity?
Sarah’s brothers, Josh and Gus, seek a berth on the Northern Orchid, the ship on which their father lost his life six years previously. Many believe Jimmy Dougall’s ghost still walks the decks. The boys learn a coastal trader confronting the challenges of the partially mapped reefs of the Queensland Inner Channel, offers many and varied experiences.
A life is lost, another life teeters on the verge of death, another must face the Bowen magistrate.