Fourteen year old Garnet Rose is furious. Her mother has suddenly decided she's moving to Florida to look for work and she's not planning to take Garnet along with her. Instead, Garnet is going to be dropped off with Aunt June and her family.
Now, Garnet has never known her father. The story she's heard all of her life is that her father left before she was born. He just walked out on everyone and hasn't been seen since. The Aunt June who is going to take Garnet in is her missing father's sister. With her mother headed to Florida, Garnet is in shock and trying to figure out if she's actually welcome in this new house or not. But things do happen for a reason, or at least Aunt June says so, and one by one her two cousins, Emory and Avery, come around and eventually even Uncle Otis has a kindness or two to offer.
The family owns a television and every evening they gather around to watch the Ed Sullivan show, or Gunsmoke or whatever is showing and every night the kids can walk across the street to buy pop and candy to add to the fun. Garnet is deeply hurt by her mother's abandonment. She struggles to accept that her mother still cares and she slowly accepts her extended family with their pains and sorrows.
This is a well-paced story with tinges of sadness and joy joining in with the delights of television and new clothes and a startlingly good looking boy named Silver. There's a romance, a sense of loss and a wonderful feeling of love and belonging as Garnet becomes April and comes to accept the little miracles of our lives.
Ages 8 -11 168 pages Four out of five stars