Scotty Ocean is turning seven years old, and he has announced earlier in his life that seven is going to be his year. It does turn out to be his year, but not the year he imagined. It is the year his mother leaves the family. At first, Scotty does astonishing things to get her to return. When he comes to believe she won't be moving back, he tries to replace her. Ultimately, he decides he must take drastic action to remain forever seven. Hedges brings to vivid life the unforgettable Ocean family: Scotty and his two older sisters; their father, at once stern and loyal; and their mother, Joan, a character of heartbreaking complexity. An Ocean in Iowa is a timeless book about the delicate balance of families. Beautifully crafted and constantly surprising, it explores the fragile contracts between parents and children, and what it really means to grow up.