Mara cant believe that her father has left and is never coming back, leaving her and her five siblings without support. She kws that he will come because if he doesn't, the family will have to move to Aunt Jo's awful farm. But he does t return, and the family moves into the wilderness with an aunt who does t want them any more than they want her. Life on the farm is t what they expect. Reality is both better and worse than they anticipated. Over and above is Mara's special place, the magic land, that is infinitely more beautiful and infinitely more frightening than reality.