When 11-year-old Lucy McGowan starts talking, it's hard not to listen. The precocious narrator of this heartfelt novel tells the story of a family's disintegration and its coming together again. Lucy and her twin, Milo, live with their mother, Tess, in a Chicago tenement. Homeschooled and isolated, Lucy fantasizes about the identity of her father (her mother won't reveal his name) and dreams of becoming a psychologist because she's "people smart." Lucy gets a chance to find out about the past when Tess is summoned home to Timber Falls, Wis., to care for her own dying father. At times tragic, at other times hilarious, the book reveals the enduring bonds between parents and children, friends and foes.