PICKET FENCE

Author(s): 
Decades ago, before her father abandoned her, Finnoula O'Grady and her father Patrick traveled through the town of Whitewater and saw the grand old house called March Winds. Now abandoned, March Winds is considered haunted. But when Finn receives an unexpected legacy from her father, she decides to make it her home.

To 10-year-old Emma McDaniel, the house is her playground and the former home of her only friend, "Abby." Emma is angry when Finn moves in and is determined to drive the interloper away. Emma's uncle, Cade, meanwhile, is having a tough time, trying to raise the girl his sister dumped on him before vanishing.

Breaking through Cade and Emma's stubbornness won't be easy for Finn. The rewards, however, may be sweeter than she ever imagined.

Forgiveness and acceptance are key elements in this outstanding new family drama, which offers the deep insight into the human soul and the touching story that are hallmarks of a Cates novel. None of the characters in this story is perfect, and their mistakes threaten to cost them dearly, making the story even more affecting. (Jan., 384 pp.,$6.50)
Reviewed by: 
Jill M. Smith