It's 1947, and aided by a drought and the careless logging of the postwar building boom, wildfires leave a path of desolation after destroying forests and homes throughout the state of Maine. Against the backdrop of the fire, Meg finds her other concerns are heightened: the need to protect her ""backward"" older cousin Orin, grief for the wartime death of another cousin, Champ, and her own growing pains. In the resulting confusion of an evacuation, Meg, younger brother Paul, and Orin are left to fend for themselves. Levin (Away to Me, Moss, 1994, etc.) is an elegant stylist and her descriptions of the fire are nothing short of poetry. Although the plot unravels slightly in the aftermath of the disaster, Meg's story is a sensitive and beautifully told adventure.