On the jacket flap Waldron confesses that ""this book is so autobiographical that it's embarrassing. I grew up in Birmingham; lived in terror of being kidnapped; spent my summers on our farm; adored my twin cousins; read the Delineator magazine--everything but get kidnapped myself."" And the kidnapping in the story does seem a contrivance--or at least a remarkable coincidence, after Jane has been so preoccupied with the subject that she watches for the paper each day just to look up the kidnapping news. However, far from overdramatizing the incident, Waldron cannily deflates it. Without too much trouble, Jane gets herself out of the neighboring deserted barn she's been locked in, and she is then assured by grownup relatives who pooh-pooh the adventure that old Wash Potts, the local moonshiner, had confined her not for ransom but to keep her away from snooping on the night he was planning a ""run."" Well done--and besides, something had to happen in a story that otherwise just meanders through nostalgic memories of depression-era Alabama.