It is October 1927. Bridge Weld is nineteen, headstrong and beautiful, working in her grandfather Noel's boatbuilding shop. When Noel is approached by a local bootlegger to refit a boat for smuggling, he feels in his gut that he should not accept the work, yet he takes the job for the money it offers and for the chance it gives him to build a future for his beloved granddaughter, Bridge, and her brother, Luce. What Noel doesn’t count on is that Luce will be lured into the rum work himself and will try to pull Bridge into it with him.
But Bridge has embarked on a different course. Caught up in a passion for Henry, a veteran of World War I, Bridge is propelled beyond the confines of her known world, and ultimately she must choose between the man who loves her and the brother to whom she has been loyal all her life. As Bridge strikes out on her own, Luce's fierce attachment spirals out of control.