Gr 6-8 In her third-person narrative, Holl effectively portrays the anger and resentment of 13-year-old Randi, whose mother suddenly returns home after having run away a year earlier to find herself and pursue her dream of becoming a writer. Randi's feelings are certainly understandableit was she who cooked and cleaned and took responsibility for the care of her five-year-old sisterand her attitude and actions are convincing. The portrayal of her younger sister, Meggie, is achingly real: the trauma of her mother's departure has left her timid and insecure. The plot is weakened, however, by the unrealistic portrayal of her mother. Even though she is portrayed as insensitive, selfish, and confrontational, it seems unlikely that she and her husband would never sit down with Randi to try to explain the events of the past year or to give her an opportunity to vent her own feelings. The overall balance of this book is positive; Randi's pain is common among many of today's young adults, and this story will make them feel less alone if they face a similar situation. Laura McCutcheon, St. Catherine's School, Richmond, Va.