15-year-old Annie and her Mama have always moved around. Ever since Mama got thrown into jail in Carling, staying one step ahead has been a priority.
Mama is clairvoyant...or says she is, at least. Peach Hill is Mama and Annie's eighth town. They set up shop, but this time they have a new angle. Annie is pretending to be an idiot. She has perfected a crossed eye and slack jaw. Afterall, people will say anything in front of an idiot. This way, Annie can easily collect the information that her Mama needs for business. Information like the fact that Delia deGroot's Mama up and ran away with the fish man. Or that Mr. Poole's wife was sharp elbowed and sharp tongued.
Annie, however, hadn't counted getting feelings for local boy Sammy Sloane. There was no boy alive who would fall for a drooling idiot! So Annie hatches her own plan and has Mama unwittingly "heal" her in front of some other people. Annie has never defied her mother before, and honestly, she likes the feel of it.
Annie gets to discover Peach Hill and its residents out from Mama's watchful eye. Is Mr. Poole all that he seems? Is his interest in Mama genuine? Will Sammy Sloane notice Annie now that she's "normal"? And who is that bedraggled girl without shoes running around town?
As Annie learns to see using her own eyes, she will face some hard truths. About her Mama and their lifestyle, and about truth itself.
Marthe Jocelyn has written a solid character driven story that is filled with historical detail. While the cover looks young, the story itself deals with themes of first love, abuse, and finding one's path. Fans of Creech will approve.