Haley Swan is looking for purpose in life as she nears forty. Her marriage is crumbling after her husband came back from the Iraq War a changed man. Their children are having a hard time, especially their teenaged son. Haley’s closest friend urges her to join the School Board and The First Genesis Church.
Religion enters politics when evangelicals propose adding Intelligent Design to the biology curriculum in the School Administrative District (S.A.D.). This challenge to teaching evolution rips the small town in half. Jake Marlin, a handsome lobsterman, teams up with a college professor to fight back. Even the teenagers throw themselves into the heated debate when they aren’t too busy messing around. On top of all this, the coastal town is threatened by vigilantes and lobster pirates.
In small town politics the tangled web of relationships is key. Haley is caught in the crossfire as she tries to stand on the shrinking middle ground. Jake is dangerously attractive, but is he interested in her or in her swing vote? Haley finds herself pulled by competing claims of faith, duty and love.
Meanwhile Superintendent Bartleby Jones angers both sides, and his close friendship with Haley becomes the talk of the town. Then the Superintendent is found dead! The chain of events is as strange and unpredictable as the weather in Maine.