From Shelby's point of view, her mother Zoe is impossible: She's uprooted them so many times Shelby has lost count, and develops temporary obsessions, like decorating the living room with pages from a Georgia O'Keeffe calendar. Worst of all, she will not speak about Shelby's father. Then Zoe, after a dream, takes Shelby to Red Valley, where Zoe's foster mother, Aunt Onie, lives. Shelby resists and resents the trip, but in odd Aunt Onie's peculiar house and among her derelict possessions, she finds some long-buried truths. Moore (Under the Mermaid Angel, 1995, etc.) does a remarkable job of capturing a ninth-grader's aversion to her mother's seemingly capricious ways; readers don't see the method in Zoe's madness until the final, painful revelations in the last chapter. Aunt Onie's bird carvings and her personal memories of ""Miss O'Keeffe"" figure prominently in the narrative, which captures the desolation and beauty of the Texas landscape. A strong story, whose outwardly fragile protagonists possess reserves of steel to carry them through to the end.