Things don't quite add up for Barbara "Babie" Bunting, the youngest of the three orphaned Bunting sisters who live in the small town of Shallow Pond. If it weren't for their age differences they would look like identical triplets. Barbara really wants to get out and has plans for college. She doesn't want to stick around and throw away her life as she thinks her 26 year old sister, Annie, has done. Things start happening when a new boy moves to town with the unlikely story that as an infant he had been left on the steps of a convent and been raised by nuns. He has a mysterious benefactor who has moved him to Shallow Pond to finish out his senior year of high school. Meanwhile the man who as a boy had broken Annie's heart, in Babie's eyes, has returned and started dating Gracie, the middle sister. She should have had memories of the mother who supposedly died after Babie was born but doesn't. The stately pace of this book gives readers the chance to ponder what makes us us; genetic makeup? date of birth? nurture?