The confusing passage to adulthood is the heart of Glancy's slender, poignant and powerful story of an innocent, deeply religious teenage girl. The second oldest of nine children, Rachel Hume learned to read by deciphering highway signs as her family followed her father, an itinerant railroad worker, across the bountiful countrysides of Louisiana and Texas. Now nearly grown, Rachel is a committed Christian; her world is still defined by her deep attachment to her mother and God?until she falls in love with a young soldier. But the shelter of her family's love leaves newly married Rachel little prepared for the demands of her husband, Jim Satterethwait, and life in the army barracks, surrounded by people who drink, commit adultery and neglect their children. Rachel's problems are further complicated when she becomes pregnant and barely survives a difficult childbirth that is succeeded by post-partum depression. Instead of turning to her patient husband, Rachel retreats to her childhood home, where she must finally learn to face the world? --Publishers Weekly (1996)"