Cal McGill watches the young woman through the dirty windscreen of his Toyota. There’s something compelling about her stillness, about the length of time she has been standing square-shouldered, erect, staring out to sea. What has brought her to this remote beach, he asks himself. Is she a kindred spirit who finds refuge by the shore? Idle curiosity soon turns into another investigation for oceanographer and loner McGill as he embarks on a quest to discover why, 26 years earlier, another young woman stood on the same beach before walking into the waves. According to the police, she killed herself and her unborn baby. McGill questions this version of events and confronts the jealousies, tensions and threats of a coastal community determined to hold on to its secrets.