It’s tough when you are twelve. Nothing you liked to do when you were younger is interesting anymore, and you are not allowed to do anything else yet.
Frankie is dying to leave her town, longing to get out and do exciting adventurous things. Her brother is in the army, and she adores him for the adventurous life she is sure he is leading.
And when he comes home to introduce his new bride, that is only one more adventurous romantic thing that Frankie is dying to be a part of.
That’s the main thrust of the story’s action. But the relationships between the main characters (Frankie, Bernice, and John Henry) are more important than Frankie’s delusions.
Bernice is the black cook. Her life, revealed in little peeks, has been far from dull. She cares very much about Frankie and her little cousin John Henry. She is very sympathetic to Frankie and tries to help her every way she can. John Henry gets the short end of the deal in the end.
It’s funny, too, how they all end up acting like kids. That happens! Adults, like Bernice, get drawn into the logic of the children. If you spend that much time around kids, you do start to think like them.
Frankie is trying so hard to be the grown-up that she doesn’t know how to be yet.