On two remote islands off the coast of Maine, the local lobstermen have fought savagely for generations over the fishing rights to the ocean waters between them. Young Ruth Thomas is born into this feud, the daughter of one of the greediest lobstermen in Maine. Eighteen years old, as smart as a whip, and irredeemably unromantic, Ruth returns home from boarding school determined to throw her education overboard and join the ""stern men."" As the feud escalates, she helps work the lobster boats, brushes up on her profanity, and eventually falls for Owney Wishnell, a handsome young lobsterman. ""Funny, clever and wise"" (Seattle Times), STERN MEN captures a feisty American spirit through this unforgettable heroine who is destined for greatness despite herself.