A warming, delicately tuned story set in an unspecified rural American past, about a motherless farm family and the woman who comes from Maine for a trial visit after Papa advertises for a wife. Even before she arrives, Sarah wins Anna and Caleb with her brusque but touching letters. (""Tell them I sing,"" she writes to Papa in answer to their question. We already know that Papa hasn't sung since Mama died, when Caleb was born.) Sarah learns to plow and teaches the others, even Papa, to play. She also talks about the colors of the sea, which she had to leave when her fisherman brother married and his wife took over the house in Maine. Anna and Caleb know that Sarah misses the sea, and they hang on every hint that she might stay. She does, of course, to everyone's satisfaction. JLG.