What begins here as an unassuming story about a rebellious 12-year-old required to accompany her professor mother for a year in England proves to be a subtle novel--all about how getting acquainted with an old man's dreams and demons transforms the girl's understanding of her mother and of her own dreams. Diana has just one hope for this unwanted year: to meet Princess Di, surely a kindred spirit because of her shared name. On her first day in the village near Lincoln where she is to live, she encounters Old Mr. Somers, who explains that he is really Group-Captain Somers, to whom a Victoria Cross is still owed for heroism in WW II. The two embark on a journey to London, where they do actually see the Princess, but where Diana begins to realize just how confused Somers really is--and also learns how a real tragedy underlies his ""lies"" about his war experiences. Returning home to Somers' angry, distraught daughter and her own frantic mother, Diana gains a better understanding of her mother's real feelings for her and decides, even though she's given a chance to go back to the US, to stay on for the year. As she did in On My Honor (Newbery Honor, 1986), Bauer skillfully accumulates believable detail to delineate her characters as they grow through a pivotal experience, with each economically drawn incident essential to the carefully constructed whole. A fine, accessible story.