The time, the 1850's- the place- northern Indiana. Wide-eyed, sixteen-year-old Meg Donahue arrives at the Donahue place to live with her cousins. A weird atmosphere hangs over the place, and causes Meg to keep her eyes open. She finds friendship in the houseful of rugged men from Marietta, the wife of the oldest son, and Todd, the only honest lad in the family. Melodrama there is, with murder, cheating, intrigue and romance in large portions, but it is deftly reined in by the successful author of The Luck of Daphne Tolliver (1961, p.547, J-197). Fast, pleasurable reading from first page to last, with side-saddle instruction for those so inclined.