I believe this to be the best of her works, although the story was completely depressing. Tragedies strike almost every moment of this poor girl's, Billie Jo, life. Though, Karen Hesse makes a good point in her book, depicting that through hardships family won't survive unless they stick together. I give Karen that good credit and I believe she "pulled it off". Given her praise, I comprehend that the ending was open-ended and unsatisfying. It would've been lovely to see Billie Jo accomplish one of her lifelong dreams and maybe her father's implied wedding. But I wouldn't try coaxing a sequel out of Mrs. Hesse, she has stubbornly declared she would not. All in all it's a good historical novel for juveniles.