An evocative first novel about a family in quiet crisis. Lucy, 12, is a worrier, closed up and paralyzed by vague longings for what might be. With her only sibling, Jane, away at nursing school (""Lucy knew Jane was what held the family together""), Lucy is afraid that she will be to blame if her parents break up. Without quite knowing why, she refuses to answer Jane's letters and cuts herself off from her lifelong only friend--Gus, a sparklingly vivid character her own age who happens to have muscular dystrophy. Then Jane's unexpected homecoming--with a needy baby she's temporarily caring for--launches Lucy and Gus on a partnership that starts with furtive trips to the store for Pampers and ends with a well-orchestrated journey to Lucy's family's lake cottage and a Thanksgiving-like dinner of tacos that brings them all together, if only for a while. Farish's story is an atmospheric blend of half-stated thoughts, moody moments, and inexplicable yearnings; she captures, in Lucy's every move, a preteen who is holding herself responsible for the events around her even while she backs away from any direct action. Barely restrained emotions underscore each conversation here, while the airy, elusive writing subtly conveys the full weight of each character's concerns.