Now that he's getting older, Joel Gustafson has a lot to consider. His birthday is next month. He'll be fifteen, and he can't stop thinking about the new liberties that come with being fifteen: he'll be allowed to ride a moped, and he'll no longer need to sneak into the cinema to see an adults-only film. And maybe his father will finally agree to leave their small Swedish town and the two of them will become sailors something Joel has always dreamed of.
Joel's life takes a turn, but nothing like he had anticipated. Joel and his father are unexpectedly faced with an aspect of their past and emotional wounds resurface. Can their relationship survive this complex situation, and the very different ways in which they respond?