It's 1963 and Ellie lives in the shadow of being an outcast Witch Tree Lane, and being the daughter of her flamboyant and restless mother Doris Day Dingman. When Doris decides to pursue her star in New York City and abandons her family to do so, Ellie has to take care of her siblings and find inner strength to be the adult her mother never quite managed to be.
Ann Martin is probably best known for her formula Babysitter Club books, and maybe somewhat less well-known for her A Corner of the Universe. This book turns out to be less of a YA book than an adult novel about being a child with a mother who is more of a child. It's an odd paradoxical book: fascinating and detailed, yet dull and plotless at the same time. I can honestly say that I've never been so bored by a book that was such a breeze to read. So, if you want a book that (at 308 pages) still took under 4 hours to read, I guess you could do worse.