A bright future goes dim when Mandy's father is killed in WWII, and a returning veteran takes her mother's job. They have to move, to cranky Aunt Bess's farm. At first, Mandy doesn't want to fit in, either at her new school, or on the farm, where Aunt Bess tells her to tend the sheep -- but her stubbornness begins to melt as she develops affection for the flock, and makes two friends. Still, she pines for her old town and the house her father had always talked of buying. A spring flood and a family crisis develop simultaneously when Mandy's mother proposes buying a local general store with Aunt Bess's lamb money; in a heavy rainstorm, Mandy finds the sheep cut off on a low rise, and must decide whether to prevent the sale by leaving them to their fate, or try a rescue. As it turns out, the water is already too deep, but she keeps the flock together through a long night, and by the time help arrives in the morning, has straightened her priorities. Willis plots a predictable but sturdy story, with a slightly antique flavor and a cast whose good hearts are disguised beneath crusty or careless exteriors.