A sensitive first novel is a recall of a girl's growing up and is the first person story of Bridget Grant's constant exposure to grown ups who are ""adult in the ways of the world but not of the heart"". Driven by her mother's harsh ambition, they move from the American western town of Fort Union to the Island where Bridget is a stranger among Chinese and British and where her sickness at 10 sends her back ""home"" to the care of her grandparents and Aunt Mayme, where again she is a stranger denied the understanding love she has wanted. Her health keeps her a misfit with her own contemporaries but she finds a welcome in music. Through the years she gets a picture of the family story -- the roots of her uncle's failure, of Mayme's despair, of her grandfather's escape from his wife, of her mother's selfish projections. A return to the Island and a deepening of her talent for the piano keep her isolated while another stay in Fort Union brings about a complete break with her mother and establishes her chance to continue her music. The eight years in Bridget's life in detail reflect the effects of love withheld or denied, of sterile values, and of constant rejection, and they chronicle a maturing whose scars go deep. Of particular feminine appeal, this should find an appreciative audience.