When everyone in her life fails her, a child will either be crushed or grow strong.

Emily could go either way. Her thin shoulders need to bear the voice of her dead brother, the nightmares of her absent mother, the seductive dependence of a desperate friend and the neglect of her obsessive father. Her comfort is found in the enduring love of her dog.

Siddons' writing is artful. Her beautiful prose is interspersed with classic poetry until the whole book flows like music. The intensity of the relationships and the potential for disaster moves the novel forward, even as the beautiful language and stunning scenery beg to be lingered over. It's a rich, evocative tale well told by a master wordsmith. (Aug., 352 pp., $24.95)

Reviewed by: 
Mary Connealy