This is a book about childhood loss of a parent (through death). It's about the way adults neglect to bring children into the family story. Children are often left to try to figure life and death out with little or no guidance from the adults in their families. It is also a story about courage - the courage to venture out into the world in the direction of one's choosing despite what the elders in one's family say about it.
I enjoyed Barbara Donsky's style of storytelling. For me, this book was a page-turner when very few books hold my attention to the end.