Life had been going fairly normal for 16 yo Mitchell Benning, until the annual spring community fair, during the 3rd term school holidays. One sentence from his so called best friend ended all of that in one fair swoop. A day after the fair, Mitchell packed up most of his belongings, and he was sent to his mother's spinster sister to live, and with hard times on the farm, he would not be returning to boarding school for the final school term of the year. Many years later, Mitchell will return to his home town, and a firestorm of a different kind will strike the town, not just the one with him returning to face the community.
Having recently lost his second parent, Huon Davenport meets a stranger from Europe, who has a story about their fathers, when they were students at Oxford University. Meanwhile, Huon is discovered to have a singing talent, which his school friend, and his friends mother, - the schools chaplain, try to encourage him to continue.
The oldest of two boys, of a single mother, Wesley helps his mum to bring up his baby brother, as well as attending school and having a part time job.
Life changes suddenly, with the death of the store owner, Wesley's boss, who he regarded as his adopted grandfather.
Falling into a deep depression, from the loss of his boss, and the risk of medical intervention by his mother, Wesley flees from home, where by chance he finds a new home, eventually a new job and friends.