It was clear from the moment Melinda arrived at her cousins' home outside New Orleans that she would not enter into friendship nor join easily in the fun and frolic of the Carraway family. After all, Melinda had her life-size doll Nancy to keep her company. June Carraway who had idolized her cousin for years was disappointed but not defeated by Melinda's aloofness. And just as June hoped it would happen, the fun of romping in the Bayou country and in the Carraway household works its magic charm. For a time, mischievous Russell undoes Melinda's welcome by hiding her doll -- but once Nancy is recovered, Melinda realizes that she is not nearly as dependent on her doll as before. An author whose style will be recognized by many of her followers gears this recent book to the second and third grade female audience.