Máire McNair is lured by the selkie myth to the promise of the Alaskan wilds to fulfill her dream of finding acceptance. Cunning and determination get her there in the guise of teaching at the Tlingit Indian mission. But Alaska proves more complex and difficult than she imagined and the hope that this new place would transform her is elusive as ever.
The censorious Mrs. Paxson, the wife of the trading post manager, constantly finds fault with Máire’s efforts to teach the children. The troubled Tlingit, Natsilane, the erstwhile mission protégé, constantly confronts Máire’s naive views and perceptions. Yet he seeks to regain his own cultural identity by resuming a traditional lifestyle that draws from his Tlingit myth. But he cannot escape his past, nor can he or Máire escape the mutual attraction they feel, two outsiders in a world that permits no rulebreakers. Can the power of the myths trump all?