Val and June are trying to enjoy the last few days of summer in Red Hook, Brooklyn. As fifteen year old best friends, the two are stuck between wanting to play made up games from their childhood and wanting to seem older and cooler by pretending to be more grown up.
Bored one night, they take a pink blow up raft down to the pier to float around in the thick, murky water. Val is found unconscious the next morning and June is missing.
June's disappearance affects everybody in the neighborhood in different ways. Cree, just out of high school, becomes a suspect because Val mentions they talked to him down by the docks before getting in the water. Cree's cousin, Monique, remembers being friends with the two when they were younger but struggles with trying to fit into her new, tougher crowd. Jonathan, Val's music teacher at the private Catholic school, was the one to find Val's unconscious body and becomes the person Val tries to confide in. Fadi, the owner of a corner bodega, uses June's disappearance to try to unite the neighborhood by getting people to talk. Ren, a stranger to everybody in Red Hook, seems to blend in and disappear, yet keeps showing up to help out many people in Red Hook when they need it.
Each character struggles with events in their past that shape how they react to June's disappearance. Val was the only one there that knows what happened, but she is too afraid to talk. As different people try to comfort her (or start rumors about her), the racial and ethnical tensions in Red Hook are stirred.
There are a lot of characters in Visitation Street and each character has a unique, varied background. As the novel progresses, the characters' lives become more and more entwined as we learn about what actually happened that night and the events leading up to it.