Tall and skinny Ariel is an awkward, observant, insecure and insightful 12-year-old who feels every one of her growing pains. It's 1976 and Ariel's parents have split, as have all of the neighboring families in her suburban town. The broken bits of these families move into a 200-year-old farmhouse deep in rural Maryland and begin to form a new family. Since life has given them lemons, the collective names their new home, "Lemonade Farm."
As the grown-ups begin dating and playing with their new freedom, the children are often left to their own devices - sometimes with heartbreaking results. At their new school, Ariel witnesses the cruelty of racism and bullying from her sparsely-populated table of rejects while watching her best friend and Lemonade Farm "sister" dine with the popular kids.
At the farm, everyone revolves around Anne, a caustic and bewitching teenager - the fly in the grown-ups ointment and an icon of cool for all the kids.
The town locals think the "Lemons" are weirdoes. The local police think they're a handful, so when one of the grown-ups comes up for review at his government job, the outsider perspective of the farm arrives on their doorstep. Every family is a world unto itself, but the longer the Lemons live at the farm, the more they become a semi-utopic oddity in post-Vietnam, bicentennial times.
As Ariel adjusts to life at the farm, her bi-weekly returns to the suburban world of her dad and his girlfriend feel like visits to a world less real, less rich, less magical.
What starts as the coming-of-age odyssey of a hyper-aware preteen, evolves into the story of an era and the evolution of the American family. As families today continue to disintegrate and reintegrate, Lemonade Farm serves as a highly relevant, humorous and endearing story of loss and renewal.