I've recently re-read this book, and have a totally new perspective on the main character's (Aunt Crete) mission of raising her teenage nephew. Due to strife in the family, Aunt Crete never had the opportunity to know her nephew, and took the opportunity that arose with the death of his mother. Aunt Crete's mission quickly turns into a mission to have a positive impact on many of the teenage boys in her community, and she is forced to re-evaluate some of her antiquated ideas and impressions she had of the local boys (mostly learned from town gossip). Very good read, which renews my desire to have a positive influence on the next generation whenever possible (and not to judge, especially when you don't have all the facts!).