For twelve generations, when the fish were plentiful and when they all-but disappeared, the inhabitants of a remote island in Newfoundland have lived and died together. Now, they face resettlement, thanks to a generous government compensation package. But there’s a catch – everyone must go and there is one crazy coot who refuses to leave.
That would be Moses Sweetland. Motivated in part by a sense of history and belonging, haunted by memories of the short and lonely time he spent away from his home as a younger man, and concerned that his somewhat eccentric great-nephew will wilt on the mainland, Moses refuses to leave. Sweetland is eventually persuaded to sign on to the government’s plan but then a tragic accident prompts him to fake his own death and stay on the deserted island.