The author of a carefully crafted, well-received novel about the Depression (Nothing to Fear, 1991) essays a less ambitious story about recently widowed Kathy and her daughter Denny, who have left N.Y.C. to make a new life on an island in Maine. Denny, a typical 14-year-old, can be believably obtuse and obnoxious when her dissatisfaction with their drafty, uncomfortable cabin, her scorn for her new classmates, or her own grief makes her forget Kathy's; still, the two have a strong, loving relationship. Together, they make friends with gruff ""Mr. Jones,"" a retired engineer who is fixing up the Misty Day on a nearby island. There's a hint of mystery here--could Jones possibly be the boat's earlier owner, who disappeared long ago in a storm? Or his ghost? Not so, it turns out; instead, he's working out the sad end of his own battle against cancer, a task to which Denny and new friend Spence bring dramatic help in the final scenes. There are some simplistic passages here, and the plot is predictable--a lost daughter turns up for a poignant farewell, Denny's growing esteem for erstwhile antagonist Spence parallels her acceptance of her new home, etc. Not the author's best, then, though wholesome and enjoyable.