A surprisingly retro book, written in a style of children's literature that really hasn't been actively practiced much in recent decades. Clarry doesn't really have any adventures of note and you'll search hard for any passages that are particularly humorous. This is simply a straight chronological account of her education progress and various troubles that her brother, cousin, and related family members go through. There's no real message or defined purpose. It's just a glimpse at a life.
The story is well written, but I am a jaded modern reader and I want a novel to have a purpose or a concept to justify its existence. This instead just seemed trite, wasting opportunities to explore all of the societal changes occurring in the era (that McKay talks about in the afterword but never really explores in the story).