In this delightful sequel to The Ornament Tree, Bonnie leaves for college, but before she leaves she urges Clare to keep her dangerous secret from the loving, unconventional family who lives in the big, old Seattle boarding house. But Bonnie's secret is not all that concerns Clare. While letters bring word of her cousin's determined pursuit of a medical career, Clare wonders about her own future. She does not have Bonnie's fierce ambition, and she is unsure of what she wants for herself. She is in love with a man she believes loves someone else, and it often seems that everyone takes her for granted. But when Clare finds an abused child and his dog, their perilous world shows her where she is needed, and a mysterious young man shows her where she is wanted.