After fifteen years working on the mainland, Kurt Salter returns to his boyhood home on Croatan Island on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The bustling village of his youth, fueled by a menhaden reduction factory, has faded into an economic torpor after the closing of the plant. All Salter wants is to find some peace of mind and a place to pursue his photography. But the barrier islands have their own capricious history that is heedless of the aspirations of its residents.
It will require the efforts of the whole village, including Backtown, to confront the tragedy of 1968 and bring the island back to life.