Rowena is a chubby nine year old and as the youngest in a family of four girls she sometimes has to take a lot of criticism from older sisters. The Careys are year round residents of Rockport, Massachusetts, a famous summer artist colony, for whom Rowena feels profound contempt as ""summer people"". She more than makes up for this by her keen interest in everyone around town,- the woman next door who keeps a boarding house, Mrs. Savage who has a candy store, the chief of police. Rowena goes her merry way, her energies focused on the horse she is saving money to buy. Other eight to ten year olds will enjoy her escapades, the behind-the-scenes winter activities of the small resort town, the community sponsored Christmas party, the town meeting. Rowena to adults will stand for living, healthy, growing American democracy at its best. Children will love her for herself, and those who live in large cities or inland will find the life in a seaport a new doorway, while those who live as she does in just such a community, will feel the book is written for them.