Due to circumstances beyond her control, 12-year-old Peggy Henderson has to move to the quiet town of Crescent Beach, British Columbia, to live with her aunt and uncle. Without a father and separated from her mother, who's looking for work, Peggy feels her unhappiness increasing until the day she and her uncle start digging a pond in the backyard and she realizes the rock she's been trying to pry from the ground is really a human skull.
Peggy eventually learns that her home and the entire seaside town were built on top of a 5000-year-old Coast Salish fishing village. With the help of an elderly archaeologist, a woman named Eddy, Peggy comes to know the ancient storyteller buried in her yard in a way that few others can -- by reading the bones.
As life with her aunt becomes more and more unbearable, Peggy looks to the old Salish man from the past for help and answers.