Dylan is a boy halfway through year eight at a grammar school. The reader meets Dylan on the day he is permanently excluded from that school, for reasons initially unstated. Dylan and his lone parent mother decide to move in with his grandfather in Wales. Initially Dylan dislikes the idea. But on arrival in Wales he finds that his granddad extends a warm welcome and refrains from asking awkward questions about his school record. His grandad is a fisherman and owns his own fishing boat. A bond develops when the two of then take to the water.
Grandad is also deeply passionate about Whooper swans. There is a local area known as the Swan Fields where the swans nest over the winter. Dylan finds a swan with a fishing yarn twisted round her neck. He rescues her. Granddad and Dylan discover that a local developer plans to acquire the land at Swan Fields and turn it into a caravan Holiday Park. They resolve to save the land. An unexpected event has the unforeseen consequence of leaving Dylan and his mother in charge of the project. The question is whether the two of them can save Swan Fields.
The first strength of Lewis’s novel is her depiction of the relationship between Dylan and his grandfather, described in warm and convincing terms. The book’s second strength lies in its sympathetic and credible depiction of an angry teenager not in fulltime education. This reviewer found just one discordant element in the narrative. In relation to his proposed home schooling, Dylan conjectures that the local education authority in their home base will track him down. His mother expresses her confidence that the authority will not bother to investigate. Her assertion rings false with the character Lewis has established for her, though it plays a useful part in plot development. Her profession is that of a tax accountant. She is established as a respecter of law and order.