Having spent thirty-three years as a teacher/librarian in the public schools in Maryland, Maine, and New York, I have met many girls who grew up without a father figure in their homes. This book will resonate with them. As I read the story, I kept thinking of one particular young friend, now in her mid-teens, whose father disappeared before she was old enough to remember him. Like Garnet, any ideas she has about him are based on what she has been told or not told. And again like Garnet, if she ever learned the truth about her father, she might be as surprised as Garnet is in this story.
This story is set in the fifties. The author conveys everyday life realistically. I know because I had just graduated from college at that time. The characters are true-to-life and their relationships unfold in believable ways. The plot does not dawdle.
Middle readers will race through the book (not hard to do) in hopes things will turn out pleasant for Garnet. By the time the story ends, Garnet has matured considerably. It's a good thing because of what happens before the reader gets to the final page. This is not a tale where “they live happily ever after.”