This moving story about a 14-year-old girl coming to terms with her father's suicide makes an auspicious debut for an author new to children's literature. Set in the Depression, Sarah and her mother journey from Detroit to her mother's native Kentucky, taken there by Uncle Marsh (her mother's brother) soon after the tragedy. Sarah's tumult of feelings are vividly portrayed as the tragedy and its aftermath run through her mind during the trip. Upon her arrival in Hanlon, she is thrown into an unfamiliar world in which she has a place because of the occasionally sorrowful heritage of her parents. What follows is the description of her first months' struggles to adjust to new surroundings, to her grief, and to a new, often painful, relationship with her mother. As the story closes, Sarah is coming of age, experiencing the first pull of physical passion, a new understanding of her father, and a deeper connection with her mother. At times diffuse and unfocused, this is nevertheless rich in strong, believable, memorable characters and truly felt descriptions of time and place. An excellent beginning.