Third child of a single parent, 15-year-old Molly is her mother Maureen's mainstay in caring for foster children placed with them because of Maureen's unusual nurturing ability. Molly thinks of herself as ordinary: ""Ordinary is written all over me, and probably all through me, too, like seaside rock."" Yet, extraordinarily, Molly is chosen as caregiver for a unique foster child: Floris, refugee from Launde, a parallel world. Through vivid dreams, Molly knows Floris' true identity as a prince menaced by the wicked Magus, knowledge that enables her--with the help of charming new friend Icarus, whose unreliable smile belies his sterling character--to protect Floris and to restore the Heartstone of Launde. Floris can return safe to his family, while Molly's own family is also suddenly set to rights: one ""large, dangerous"" brother gets a job and turns shy and friendly; the other actually begins to help at home by cooking a meal. An impressive first novel, with likable, well-drawn characters; a thought-provoking plot in which the fantasy intensifies subtle insights into ordinary existence; fresh language; and intriguing use of literary references, from ""Tamlin"" to ""The Snow Queen."" An excellent choice for fans of Diana Wynne Jones.