A wisteria-hung family mess, set in Georgia on an island ``filled with the smell of musk...humid, hot, sweaty, wet musk''-- in which a put-upon Cinderella gets to the big ballroom of Love and Career. This is author McFather's first appearance in hardcover. Mean, mean Lucy Cantrell, whose deceased father had whipped the land out from under the aristocratic tootsies of heiress Genevieve Fountaine, seems to have it in for 12-year-old Tally, Genevieve's daughter. Destitute Genevieve, now married to a Bible- thumper, is ailing, and Tally must act as maid to Miss Lucy and her mild-mannered husband, Harm. Also visiting is 28-year-old Cane Winslow, Lucy's stepbrother, who falls for Tally and can hardly wait for her to grow up. Years sweat on, and Tally does grow up, but then come troubles. Genevieve shoots her crazy husband, while Tally hides evidence, and, to Lucy's rage, son Nick and Tally pair off. (Cane is horrified, too--not only because he's lost Tally but because he suspects that Tally and Nick are half-siblings.) There'll be blackmail, a birth, marriage, and divorce, and then Tally will make it big in Cane's communication business. It ends with a big predictable bang after Aunt Monday, an ancient obeah woman, comes out of the woods to spill out snazzy secrets. Old stuff with hectic stereo-southern ambiance.