What makes Polly miserable the summer she is nine is her best friend's move to California, but by the end there's a new girl, sullen at first and saddled with a silly mother, who begins to show promise. (Unconvincingly, the mother is billed as a ""famous artist?') There is friction too between Polly and her younger brother, but even here, after she saves him (in a well orchestrated scene) from a herd of inquisitive cows, there are glimmers of rapport that presage greater amity. All in all Polly seems to have a near idyllic Vermont childhood, with an understanding college professor-farmer for a father, a mother who talks to her as an equal and ""loves"" her nursing job, and a perceptive, youthful Gram (a former college teacher) always handy in the kitchen. This is relatively thin for Stolz, but certainly pleasant enough.