Miri and Natalie are best friends living in Elizabeth, New Jersey in the 1950s. Natalieís father is a dentist in town
whose work provides well for his family. Miri and her single mother, Rusty, live with her grandmother in a dual-level
apartment. Miri and her mother occupy the level above her grandmother and her uncle Henry. Miri likes being at Natalieís house because her family
is so different from Miriís family.
Ruby Granick is a dancer, living in Elizabeth but flying out to Miami from Newark to start a new job in Miami tomorrow night. She is excited to be going somewhere warm and is weary from all the rushing around to make her flight, which has been delayed without explanation.
Steve Osner and Kathy Stein met at a party at a friendís home over the holidays. Steve is a senior in high school, and Kathy is a freshman in college, home for the holidays. It isnít love at first sight, but it has potential to be something more than just friends. Kathy tries to talk her roommate into joining her for the flight back to Elizabeth during their college break, where Steve and her cousin Phil will meet her at the airport.
Jack and Mason are brothers on their own after their mother abandons them and dies on a railroad track, trying to escape the man who
has abused her every day. She promised Mason she would come back for him; Mason now knows that Jack and he must survive on their own. Jack takes a job to support them both,
but Mason ends up in the town orphanage. It is a clean, safe place for him until Jack can take care of him again. Mason is living in the orphanage, known as Janet House, when he unexpectedly meets Miri and is forever changed.
Each of these characters and many others will find their paths intertwined as tragedy strikes the small town of Elizabeth, New Jersey, not once but three times in a period of 45 days. As the reader listens to the stories each of these characters tell, their strength and endurance will be what you remember. Author Judy Blume has written many award-winning books for children. Her talent for writing to all audiences is displayed here. This is a fictionalized account of these events, as seen through the eyes of the characters, but Elizabeth, New Jersey is the childhood home of the author, which lends authenticity to the story.