Emily's mother died in labor, and for the next 18 years, Emily has grown up on her grandfather's farm. Although she's surrounded by family, she's utterly alone, with a group of men who don't appreciate her and who take advantage of her.
Her abusive and horrible life, and a terrible accident, force her to run away to San Francisco with hopeful dreams of a new life. But things aren't as perfect and dreamy as she hopes. Life in the city is like life back on the farm - filled with people just waiting to take advantage of her.
But as she picks up the pieces of her fractured past, determined to build a new future, she fights for control of her mind and her memories, trying to understand her role in the grown-up world surrounding her and the stirrings of an adult romance in her heart.
My take: From the very beginning of the book, I got a good sense of the characters presented. They were full of personality and easy to either love or hate. I especially liked Emily and her stubbornness and determination. Janz-Anderson created good, believable drama and threats strong enough to motivate Emily to leave the only place she knew as home, and the only place she shared a connection with the mother she never knew.
I enjoyed the amount of mystery in the pages of Emily's story; it keeps the reader guessing about what's going on and whom Emily can and can't trust. Besides the few instances where the vernacular is a bit off and the narration doesn't match what I believe the character would say, I enjoyed the story Janz-Anderson told.
My rating: If you like character-driven stories and dramas set in the late '50s, then this is for you. Content-wise, I'd rate this around a PG for hinted-at events.