In a sequel to An End to Perfect, Arden must leave her beloved small town, Haverlee, to move to newly widowed Gran's house in the city of Grierson, N.C., when a plant closing forces Dad to take a job there. Although the characterization depends on themes and events more thoroughly explored in the earlier book (""what happened last year"" is frequently evoked to explain what's happening now), Newton develops relationships through such careful attention to detail that this novel does stand on its own. Gran is especially interesting: although she's always been prickly and difficult, after Big Dad's death she wins Arden's respect by sensitively subduing her own demands to the needs of the uprooted family. Meanwhile, Arden has grumped her way through most of 7th grade before ""remembering the friendly person she used to be"" and discovering a previously unsuspected musical talent. Going back to Haverlee is a revelation: both she and her friends there have grown and changed; returning to Grierson, she realizes that she and Gran have both been coping with loss, and she foresees an end to her ""wilderness wandering."" A sympathetic, well-drawn portrait of a strong-minded girl growing and learning through difficult events.