An appealing first novel--brisk, witty, affecting--involving a teenager's experience with an older sister's death from leukemia. Meg Chalmers is a plucky thirteen-year-old, tongue-in-cheek and heart-on-sleeve, exploring her feelings with a careful balance of insight and insecurity. Recently relocated to an old country house so Dad can finish his book, she suffers familiar resentments--a shared room with sister Molly, fifteen and pretty--but enjoys photography and a rare trio of neighbors, all older and understanding. Individual personalities are established, integrated, and then tested when a worrisome development surfaces; Molly requires hospitalization and extensive treatment, and Meg realizes she is losing more than a sparring partner. Meg's natural candor and muffled humor are encouraged by the neighbors--a seventy-ish gent who shares his camera and vitality, and an oddball, loving couple whose baby's birth (with Meg as house photographer) acids more than a pat "new life" contrast to Molly's approaching death. An attractive, laconic heroine in an upbeat presentation of a most difficult subject.