In the Blume tradition, a 12-year-old faces upheaval and loss in her happy middle-class life. While Meredith is still grieving the death of her beloved grandmother, the family moves from Chicago to San Antonio. Her deaf older sister goes happily off to boarding school; her mother, a lawyer, decides to stay home. Trying to cope, Meredith secretly writes letters to her dead grandmother, signing them ""Mama Cat,"" a make-believe character from a game she plays with her preschool brother. Later, making new friends, including the cutest boy in school, and learning to play tennis with her father, Meredith depends less on the letters--but still feels guilty about them. Her parents finally discover the letters and overreact, then later admit that they too have hidden their grief, and promise to talk more about their feelings. Meredith's first-person narrative is overburdened by too many ""I feel,"" ""I like,"" and ""I think"" sentences, and her parents (like TV parents who clean up messy problems in 30 minutes) are a little too perfect. But her emotional struggle to understand life's inevitable losses are realistically portrayed; they will touch many readers.