illard Young is a 10-year-old boy who is sent by his mother to stay with her best friend Lily Reed, who lives in the Delta shrimp-fishing country in a town called Paradise. Lily and her husband Ben have been living in an unmentioned emotional vacuum since the death of their own three year old boy. Willie makes friends with the local 9-year-old tomboy Billie Pike, who teaches him to be comfortable with himself. When Willard gains a handle on his own emotions, he can now help Lily and Ben to connect, overcome grief and rediscover themselves.

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