For nine year old Ellie, life has been anything but easy. Having lost her mother and endured a recent move with her Pa to a tiny, sand and grass covered island in the Atlantic, called Sable Island, she's both angry and unhappy. There's lot to see and explore in her new home, even new people to meet, like Sarah, but Ellie still struggles. It isn't until she stumbles upon one of the island horses, a stallion she names Orchid, that Ellie begins to experience the healing only a horse can bring to both the heart and spirit.
Ellie is grieving both the loss of her mother and the move from the family home and the fact that she's having trouble adjusting is both realistic and relateable. Sarah is a good friend to Ellie even when Ellie is not the kindest to her. Ellie's father is loving and willing to do what he can to help her with Orchid when he sees how important saving the horses are to her.