A prolific au thor takes on some contemporary issues in a warm, believable story about a family and their huge dog. Annie is the oldest of four MacDougal siblings, children of the Episcopal priest in a small Maine town. Less obviously talented than the others, she's a caring person who misses having a pet and persuades her father to let her adopt an Irish wolfhound--Flannigan, whose lovable but lumbering ways soon get him in trouble with the town's more timid citizens. While exercising Flannigan in a lonely area, Annie meets Cora, a fleeing mental patient. With her family's help, Annie is soon trying to find Cora a secure situation. Meanwhile, the grouch next door finds an excuse to introduce Flannigan as an issue at a town meeting, leading to a tense, satisfying climax. Annie is a fully drawn character whose subtly revealed talent is her concern for others. Corcoran surrounds her with a family whose strengths and weakness she skillfully delineates. Well-written, entertaining, and thought-provoking.