This is Joanna's story. A lonely, curious, spirited young girl who spent her young years in the tangle of a loose knit extended family; she lived with a great-aunt and uncle, dutiful but detached who seemed unaware of the needs of their young charge. The dark little secrets, sorrows and regrets are their, claiming the energies of their obsolete generation. Joanna was born during the Great Depression of the 1930's when children were tolerated but not taken very seriously. Her journal became her companion and comforter. As she tries to understand her part in a family tragedy that destroys her mother, she seeks solace circle. Joanna feels exiled herself and becomes fixed on the young handicapped son of aunt's household, her increasingly absent father and memories of her lost brother, Toby. Joanna finds an unexpected tutor in Alonzo, the remarkable husband of her grandmother, whose wisdom and humor pull her back to a safer place. Joanna grows up, still trying to understand and still trying to go back to where she was welcomed and sheltered. She is still wise and foolish, happy and sad, curious and afraid. Of course her journey continues.