Franny, 12, and her parents, Sina and Old Tom, live a peaceful life on a farm on Vancouver Island during WW2. Their troubles revolve around the creative process (Sina is a sculptor and Franny writes.) and the seasonal work of the farm — until Crying Alice, their neighbor, arrives with an unusual request. She wants Franny, Sina and Old Tom to watch over her 3 kids while she tries to prevent her husband, an air force base mechanic, from doing something stupid. Supernatural events, crazy mysteries and very bad cooking ensue! Polly Horvath writes with such quirky warmth, and has such a multiplicity of odd mostly well meaning characters, that you won’t want to leave the world of the novel. Recommended for readers 9 – 12 as well as anyone who loves a good story. The beauty of the book lies in the willingness of some to sacrifice their greatest gifts for others to be able to hold onto family.