Description: Sylvia, a shy child, 'afraid of folks', is taken in and reared by her grandmother to spare her from the hustle-and-bustle of late 19th-century urban, industrial life. A friend to birds and animals, it is only when she is befriended by a young male ornithologist that Sylvia comes head on with conflicts over value systems and loyalties. The resolution of this dilemma is skillfully wrought, revealing the complexity of the decision making-process and the ethical conundrum that will save, or destroy, the earth. Read online
Opening: The woods were already filled with shadows one June evening, just before eight o'clock, though a bright sunset still glimmered faintly among the trunks of the trees. A little girl was driving home her cow, a plodding, dilatory, provoking creature in her behavior, but a valued companion for all that. They were going away from whatever light there was, and striking deep into the woods, but their feet were familiar with the path, and it was no matter whether their eyes could see it or not.