Martha's Vineyard, 1898. Five years ago, Ida Russell had walked the halls of Boston's Museum School, enrolling in art courses and showing a talent for watercolors. But Ida Russell is now Ida Pease, resident of Vineyard Haven and wife to Ezra, who has become inattentive and unreliable. Ezra runs a salvage company with Mose Barstow, but he prefers their nightly card games at the pub. It comes as no surprise when Ezra leaves abruptly for another business trip to Boston. But then a storm strikes, the ship carrying Ezra and Mose sinks, and they are presumed dead. As she sifts through the remnants of her husband's life and work, Ida must learn to separate truth from lies.