Since Stephen's mother died, he and his father continue to run their small farm in the dry bed of what was the Salcombe estuary. Spring 1954 sees devastating floods and the failure of a dam washes their neighbours' farm away, flooding the estuary again.
Stephen and his father save the neighbours' daughter but the rest of the family are killed. She is given a home with them.
They encounter attitudes and practises, official and otherwise, which are very different from those of 2018. They have to experience an Inquest and of course funerals; both of which are traumatic and emotional for them all. They have help from friends, and from many unexpected sources.
Despite income problems life returns to something like normal. In total innocence the friendship between the two youngsters is just starting to take on a different tinge when the family is torn apart again.