Lucinda (Lou) has just finished 7th grade and is about to turn 13. She and her unmarried mom, a nurse, live with her maternal grandmother because they cannot afford their own place. Lou’s parents were engaged but her father died before she was born. Lou was embraced by both sets of grandparents, however, and has grown up in a tight-knit community of relatives, neighbors, and friends. Her mother’s family is Filipino and the book does a nice job of bringing that interesting heritage to life.
Lou’s father left her a piece of land on which he had intended to build a home for her and mother. The longing for a home of her own has propeled Lou into mastering shop skills and drawing up blueprints for a Tiny House she wants to put on the property. In the meantime her mom, seeking to better their financial situation, accepts a job out of state. Unfortunately she has failed to keep up the taxes on Lou’s land, such that Lou’s plans and sense of security are thrown into jeopardy.
This creates the main drama of the story, and it is resolved in a competent, believable way. Adults and young adults behave realistically. Progress is made but no permanent magic wand is waved. Steady work and commitment continue to be necessary. The idea of “What Is Home?” is a central theme.
There is one instance of religious profanity (Jesus Mary and Joseph!). There is one homosexual marriage portrayed in the book. There is no sex but there is a little sweet romance.
Characters are nicely developed, the plot is sufficiently involved, good lessons are set forth, and the writing is focused and tight. This is just a good little book.