Tamara Anderson's 15th summer finds her starting a new life in a new town--but for the nomadic and unconventional Anderson family, that in itself is nothing new. Tamara's parents are atheists, and Tamara's father is a landscape artist. In the feverish pursuit of fresh artistic fodder, the Andersons move from one small town to another, renting houses but never owning homes and rarely living at the same address for more than a year. This "just-passing-through" kind of lifestyle has nurtured Tamara's fierce sense of individuality and independence. But at 15, there awakens a deeper yearning for an indefinable more and Tamara finds herself questioning the ways of her world and her family alike.
Mayville, New York of 1954 provides Tamara with an opportunity to find the answer as a string of unexpected new experiences unlock the door of her heart. While the Anderson family rents and tends a farm from a grief-stricken couple who has recently lost a teenaged son to leukemia, Tamara's mother is stricken with tuberculosis and quarantined in a state sanitarium. Tamara inherits the daunting task of caring for her sensitive 11-year-old brother (Robert) and stubborn kid-sister (Megan).
The new responsibilities, in conjunction with a series of letters exchanged between Tamara, her mother, and her father, broaden Tamara's understanding of her parents. Meanwhile, the Anderson children forge life-changing new friendships with their neighbors, the Murphys. 19-year-old Helen Murphy introduces the Anderson crew to church, where Tamara learns about God, prayer, and faith. Young love is born between Tamara and 15-year-old Rusty Murphy, and 14-year-old Brenda Murphy colors Tamara's life with cuss words and camaraderie. Through these corporal challenges and spiritual triumphs, Tamara learns that home is less of a place and more of a feeling.
This report prepared by Tracie Amirante