Harcourt Children's Books, Hardcover, 9780152051198, 176pp.
Publication Date: May 1, 2004
The winter has been a tough one for Pauline and Arlene's family. Though only eleven, the twin girls are old in too many ways: They know what it is to work to exhaustion, to be hamstrung by longing, to be blind with hate.
Pauline labors from dawn to dusk alongside the other members of her family at the local cotton mill, and wishes she could stay home like her sister. Meanwhile, crippled Arlene takes care of all the housework and cooking, dreaming of one day working at the mill and earning money and respect. Each is certain that the other has the easy life, but each discovers how wrong she is as this extraordinary debut novel unfolds.