Parallel lives 36 years apart come together when, on the eve of her own vacation trip to London, Jenny stumbles upon the old copybook/diary her Aunt Trudl wrote when she was an Austrian refugee there just before World War II. Jenny reads how Trudl, taken in by the parents of Pam and Mark Sanderson, came to believe that her heirloom emerald, which she used for wishing, was responsible for the death of Mark's goldfish. Trudl then stuffed the emerald inside a doll Pam had promised her (but never did turn over); later Jenny meets the grown-up Pam (now ""much nicer"") and returns home with Aunt Trudl's doll-cum-emerald. What readers will like--and recognize--is the petulant, parent-puzzling, and seemingly irrational way that Jenny's remorse about reading the copybook and her preoccupation with its contents make her behave during the London trip. This being the sort of story it is, things turn out a bit too right in the end, but meanwhile there will be more than two little girls linked by the miseries of secret guilt.