A fine first novel, written around a historical 18th-century tragedy and its attendant ghost stories. Ginny and bound-out, part-Indian Asher have such a close affinity that they have even dreamed the same dream; on St. Martin's Eve, they clare to explore the forest near the home of ancient Squire Sutherland, descendant of a wealthy Dutch family whose lands were confiscated 75 years ago--after Sutherland was responsible for the grisly death of his maid, Sally. Sally's ghost and her dogs still hover; Asher, at least, sees them. Threatened by his master's vicious abuse and desperate to know what became of the parents who abandoned him years ago, Asher escapes west to seek them; meanwhile, Ginny comes to know and care for Sutherland and hear his true story. A convincing picture of small-town life in the Catskills during the Jefferson years (1804-09), with its customs and jealousies as well as the new ideals of freedom voiced by the schoolmaster who becomes Ginny's stepfather. An adventure with ghosts; but, best, a satisfying love story, haunted and intensified by Sutherland's tragedy and Asher's grief at finding his family only to lose them again. Good, appealing historical fiction.