Heather Blake can't believe her bad luck when her family moves from Toronto to tiny Tarragon Island in British Columbia. What will she, a budding author, write about on this "rock in the middle of nowhere"? From her home-schooled neighbour, to the woman down the road who grows herbs for her aromatherapy practice, to the Dexter calf her mother brings home to promote the preservation of rare farm animal breeds, life on Tarragon Island couldn't be more different from the one Heather has left behind in Toronto. Heather's mother is far too busy getting established as the local veterinarian and her father too preoccupied with his new sailboat for either of them to pay much attention to her predicament. Alyssum, the girl dressed in rags next door, hardly seems like a promising friend, and Heather finds herself planning a brilliant escape—just like the Count of Monte Cristo. Set against the backdrop of British Columbia's scenic Gulf Islands, Tarragon Island explores the coves, beaches, and animal life of the area as well as the inner landscape of a young girl struggling to come to terms with the imperfections of her family and herself.