Although the author weakened the story by overwriting, she has shown realistically how an eleven-year-old retarded child responds to Cathy, her stepsister of the same age, but clamps her mind shut and retreats before her overly sympathetic mother. Fortunately, Cathy is not draped in angelic robes; she is an active, somewhat moody child with a powerful imagination. A psychiatrist has concluded that Anne's state was not caused by lasting physical damage, but by an emotional trauma, and is not permanent. Anne's mother does not really believe his diagnosis, but Cathy and a teacher do. Secretly, Cathy teaches Anne to ride a bicycle and takes her to the kingdom-- a deserted mansion-- fulfilling Anne's first spoken desire. Despite the fact that the style is not equal to the strong story, the author has portrayed unusual relationships convincingly.