Cinderella has nothing on Goldy Lark Farker as far as wicked stepfamilies go, but Goldy Lark has much more trouble winning her prince. Of course, princes are scarce in the Missouri Ozarks during the Depression, and at 15, good judgment is not always a girl's long suit; Goldy Lark has to deal with her fixation on an abusive, alcoholic cousin before she can see her prince waiting in the wings. Despite the fairy-tale references, this is not a typical Cinderella story. The author serves up a healthy dose of backwoods realism as she chronicles Goldy Lark's ordeals and passions in authentic Ozark vernacular. Vivid descriptions of hog killings, molasses making, a country funeral, and other aspects of daily life serve to enhance further the sense of time and place. Still, given its regional focus, this first novel will appeal to a select readership.-- Thomas L. Kilpatrick, Southern Illinois Univ. at Carbondale Lib.