Darcey Steinke's first novel, now back in print, is an unusually assured and lyrical debut. Set on an island resort town off North Carolina, it tells of summer people and islanders, mothers and sons, women and men, love and its dangers. It is the story of Emily, a woman free as the waves she swims in every day, of the man who wants to clip her wings, of her son and the summer that he will become a man. George Garrett called it "clean-cut, lean-lined, quickly moving, and audacious. . . . [Steinke is] compassionate without sentimentality, romantic without false feelings, and clearly and extravagantly gifted." "Beautifully written . . . a seamless and almost instinctive prose that often reads more like poetry than fiction." -- Robert Olmstead, The New York Times Book Review; "Dazzling and charged . . . Darcey Steinke has the sensuous and precise visions of female and male, and of the light and dark at the edge of the sea." -- John Casey.