Caseley's Kane family (Chloe in the Know, 1993, etc.) returns in a series of vignettes about Dorothy's troubles. In poignant scenes, she copes with the realization that her parents make mistakes, and learns to deal with her feelings about a classmate who has died. There are also lighthearted and triumphant times: babysitting a neighbor's dog, helping her family during a blackout. The narrative is engaging, the characters well-developed, and the situations genuine. Caseley's tone and Dorothy's emotions are right on target, and the characters are refreshing in their humanity. This is a good look at life's ups and downs that is never morose--despite the somber title and the jacket painting, in which Dorothy appears to be coping with a terminal illness.