..... is eleven years old and very much at cross purposes with her family, her school, St. Cecilia's, and very often her conscience. Her sounding board is the new tenant of their guest house, recently widowed Karen Mitchell who has been crippled in the accident that killed her husband. When Dede smuggles a kitten into the house, forges her father's name on a check to buy a dress to wear to the freshman prom to which she has blackmailed Chuck into taking her, it is Karen and the priest who get her confidence. Then Dede appears on TV to get money to pay back her father and is the miserable author of the kitten's death and, at long last, the very happy older sister of the new baby. And Karen, through Dede and her impatient problems, comes clear of her unhappiness in her morbid ties to her dead husband and finds an answer in Dede's faith. A ragingly young Californian makes a pleasant heroine with an addiction to truth -- and consequences.