A man adrift on a broken catamaran in the Gulf of Mexico is rescued and brought to a care facility in the Yucatan run by an unconventional Jesuit. The man seems to remember nothing of his past except his name. To speed his recovery, the priest engages him in searching conversations and introduces him to a captivating woman who runs a school for children in town. As their three lives intertwine and their secrets come to light, they become entangled in a complex web of emotions. Told in poetic prose, "The Castaway", which continues the story begun in Sunset in Sarasota, is a fable-like meditation on the nature of memory, beauty, love and friendship, and offers a profound affirmation of the healing power of words.