Once again, Thesman (Rachel Chance, 1990, etc.) tells a story so engrossing that readers will be glad to suspend the disbelief she always seems to arouse in the logically minded. Musically gifted Julia, 14, leaves Seattle, where she's lived with her nice stepfather, Gregg, and her stereotypically unsympathetic mother, who has only scorn for her musical friends, her ambition to become a singer or pianist, and her lack of interest in a cheerleader image. Julia moves in with lawyer-turned-cabinetmaker Dad and his sensible but reclusive mother in a small town. Music lessons are now an impossibility (though, since trips are made to Seattle for other purposes, it's not clear why); still, happier without Mom's injurious sniping, Julia makes new friends -- including Luke, whose oppressive parents forbid dating, but whom she sometimes meets in the marsh where both walk. There, too, she encounters the ghost of a singer and novelist -- Christine, whose mysterious connection to Luke's family and agonizing choice between love and career presaged Julia's troubles. Thesman interweaves the gradual revelation of Christine's story with Julia's camaraderie with classmates whose contrasting traits help her understand her own, make choices, and finally stand up to her mother. Teen readers will find the achievement of this last particularly satisfying, and are sure to enjoy the atmospheric mix of ghost story, mystery, romance, and contemporary problem solving.