Joanna is the only child of Linda and Robert Albemarle. Linda was spoiled and sheltered by her parents and has an unnatural hatred of the sea because her cousin drowned in it. As a result of his death, Joanna is never allowed to visit her father's family because they live near the Atlantic ocean.
Then, Robert is sent to Singapore on government business. The family persuades Linda that she should be at her husband's side, and that Joanna can be enrolled in boarding school and stay with the Albemarles' during vacation. Linda is extremely put out, but Joanna is delighted. For the first time in her life, she meets her father's family, begins a special friendship with her cousin Robin, and falls in love with Reckmire Marsh next to her grandparent's house.
When her parents return home, they separate from each other. Robert will continue working for the government, but Linda gets custody of Joanna. From then on, Linda is determined to keep Joanna to herself. She lies to Joanna and hides mail addressed to her daughter from her father and his family to get Joanna into thinking that they don't care for her anymore. Linda is constantly putting her wants and needs ahead of her daughter's, and her selfishness will drive Joanna away from her. Without a mother's proper love, Joanna will make mistakes she'll regret for the rest of her life.
This report prepared by Marie Morris