Alice Nightingale has acquired brain injury, the result of an assault when she was twelve. She writes poems to express the words she cannot say and leaves them in unexpected places around town.
Manny James is a refugee from Africa. He is sixteen and appears to be adapting to his new life in Alice’s town, but at night he runs to escape his memories. Alice’s grandmother and her brother Joey love and protect her, but the family’s close ties begin to loosen when Alice becomes involved with Manny.
The story comes to a dramatic climax during a flash flood, which threatens to destory everything and everyone Alice loves.