A fully realized world is created by Honeycutt (Whistle Home, 1993, etc.) in this well-written story of a mill town's economic demise. Dasie, 11, has good reason to be proud of her father, who works a dangerous job in the saw mill that is the source of the town's livelihood. He is also a volunteer fireman and a former ""faller,"" highly skilled in the treacherous job of cutting down enormous trees. He and his wife have always expected Dasie's brother, Sam, to leave town and its waning economy when he came of age, and so it is that he joins the Navy. This is ""worse than hard"" for Dasie's mother, and only the first in a series of drastic changes in their lives. The mill closes; Dasie deals with conflicting feelings for her beloved cousin, Warren--who seems to be stepping into Sam's ""place""; Warren, in the meantime, reveals his true, aimless nature and later drives his motorcycle into a tree. From the outset the story rings true. Dasie's mother once told her that in death, ""the only thing that counts is the kindness of understanding""; throughout, Dasie is the one who understands, bringing readers along with her. The vivid details of logging and small-town life read as if Honeycutt has seen, felt, and touched everything in Grace Falls, and then passed it on with poetic turns of phrasing, e.g., part of the cemetery, where Warren will ultimately he laid to rest, is ""lightly wooded, where grass was a sometime thing.