Lonely, friendless Ratchet Clark lives with her uncaring mother in Pensacola, Florida. One night, out of the blue, Henriette packs her daughter onto the train to spend the summer with two elderly relatives, twins Tilly and Penpen, who live in an area of Maine so remote that servant-eating bears are a constant menace. Here, with her outlandishly eccentric great-aunts, Ratchet hears gruesome yet darkly humorous stories of family lore while experience, for the first time, some love and care... Readers are in for a wise and wacky ride when they open this novel. National Book Award winner. 2003 paperback, 196 pages.