Marcella Abbott can't believe it. Her family is giving up their house in Portland, Oregon, and their comfortable life in the city to live year-round on Washington State's Olympic peninsula when her father's business is ruined. Nahcotta's okay for the summer, but Marcella doesn't much like the peolple who live there. In fact, she thinks they're stupid, oafish, country bumpkins. But three things change her mind forever: a new friend, a beached whale, and the incredibly mysterious lady from the sea.