The story is set in the early 1980s in Crisfield, Maryland, a small town on the Chesapeake Bay. The town has one main street, but the business district is on the outskirts. Dicey bicycles to work at the small grocery store located on the main street and near the water. Her grandmother travels by motorboat to do the shopping.
Most of the action takes place on "Gram's" rundown farm on the bay. Seven miles from town, the shabby farmhouse has plenty of space, including large bedrooms, a warm kitchen, a comfortable living room, a seldom-used dining room, and a tempting attic. A timeworn barn provides a workshop for repairs and fascinating nooks for the children to investigate. The spacious farm lands also invite exploration, with fields of pines, a vegetable garden, marshes composed of tall grasses, and a dock on the water.
(The entire section is 142 words.)