Finton Moon is an unusual child who feels like an alien. A gentle soul growing up in the rough town of Darwin, Newfoundland, he lives with his strict Catholic mother and grandmother, lawless father and three older brothers. While his grandmother has him 'right ready for the seminary,' Finton's interest lies in books, nature and solitude. He is secretly in love with the unattainable Mary Connelly, while eschewing the attention of the equally misfit Alicia Dredge, who adores him from afar. In Finton's life, there are monsters everywhere, including Bridie Battenhatch, the crone next door who harbours secrets about the Moon family she will share in exchange for the boy's company, while all his heroes come from books and TV.
But Finton's parents quickly discover that he is extraordinary, for he has been born with the ability to heal with his hands. As he grows older, his miraculous talent becomes more apparent and useful, even as it isolates him further from those around him. While Finton Moon wants nothing more than to belong, he lives in a world that sees him as other, and his greatest fear is that he will be trapped forever with these people who both misunderstand and abuse him.