In 1969, William Foster, Sr., a thirty-three-year-old army reserve soldier, is lost in action in Vietnam. He leaves behind his beloved wife, Sarah Ann; a six-year-old daughter, Lila; and a thirteen-year-old son, Will, Jr. They live in a trailer on the coast of Maine, and parked beside the trailer is their father’s beautiful but unreliable lobster boat, the Sarah Ann. The Sarah Ann‘s graceful curves and beautiful wood are a painful daily reminder of Will Sr.’s plans and dreams — dreams now lost with him.
The December afternoons are lonely and dark for Lila and Will, who must come home alone from school while their mother works. They get scared when they find evidence that someone has been visiting the trailer, and when they come home to find a rugged, cantankerous, somewhat smelly old man watching TV, it takes them a while to realize he’s…Santa Claus.
What Santa does with the lobster boat and how he handles Will’s one and only Christmas dream — to have his dad back — is the story of The Boat of Dreams. It brings laughter, surprises, and tears and tells through an unforgettable story how love is the one power that can overcome all.