This is a sensitive and moving story of a young girl's struggle to recover from the death of her mother. When her dad lands an assignment in the States, thirteen-year-old Marcie Chisholm is sent to the Crieffs, friends and former neighbours in Montreal, for the summer. Armed with a backpack, the violin her father insists she take and a heart full of longing and memories, Marcie sets out for the city where she was born. It's been four years since her mother died in Montreal, and this is Marcie's first trip back. Almost at once, problems arise -- everything from the sight of her old home to getting along with her former best friend, Daniella Crieff. Marcie soon encounters Renee, a homeless woman who is slumped in a bus shelter. She later sees a security guard throw Renee out of a mall. Marcie feels drawn to this destitute woman. But why? As the turbulent weeks progress, Marcie begins to make friends, swims races, and even enters her former home. But is this new found courage eugh for her to face her worst fear? Marcie must find the answer when she discovers Renee face down in the shelter. If she is to help Renee, Marcie must somehow come to terms with her past.