Martha's father left home when she was little; she's teased by the snotty rich kids at school; and she's embarrassed about her mother's new taxi-driving job. Then Floss, her father's mother, comes to stay--and to bake bread, sew dresses and slipcovers, engage in middle-of-the-night talks, and take Martha to the races although Martha's church-going mother wouldn't approve. Home becomes homey and Martha cares less about the snobs at school. Then she gets scarlet fever and Floss, who has angina, catches it and dies. The cat, in an effective touch, lets out the same howl it had earlier when another cat died. But there will be memories of Floss, as she had said there would be memories of her cat, and Martha and her practical mother can thank her for a new, less drab way of life. The story is told with empathy for Martha and a comfortable sense of family--though Floss is ""slightly different"" only in a straight-laced environment like Martha's; the idea of a lively grandmother showing up with comfort and cheer isn't that original either; and the final suggestion that Mom might end up with Martha's and Floss' nice house-calling doctor is too much.