Twelve-year-old Coleman Hawkins, an Anglo boy of Irish descent living outside of Montreal, is at the cusp of his sexual awakening. The only child of a loveless marriage, Coleman is befriended by Michel, a boy his own age who develops a strong admiration for Coleman. Haunted at night by a mysterious woman and distracted during school hours by the beautiful Alexa, Coleman turns to his Uncle Matt for advice and direction. But Matt Hawkins, an eccentric hard-drinking musician, has his own demons to deal with and Coleman’s constant questions trigger vivid memories of lost love and a tormented past. When Coleman is presented with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to go to Vancouver and train with the Canadian Olympic Swim Team, the decision becomes the catalyst that brings the past into a direct collision course with the present.