A month after the United States enters World War II, the country is in upheaval -- and so is the Erhardt family. Nine-year-old Lark, her mother Arlene, and Aunt Betty are heading for San Diego, far away from Harvester, Minnesota and Arlene's shiftless husband. In the booming wartime economy, Arlene and Betty are soon at work, leaving Lark alone to explore their new neighborhood, a wartime housing project full of others with similarly uprooted lives. Away from prying eyes and small town expectations, the two women begin to forge new lives and new dreams -- dreams that Lark isn't always comfortable with. This richly detailed novel, told through Lark's observant eyes, reflects the era's tumultuous events in the everyday dramas of its memorable, finely nuanced characters.