According to Jack Haywood, the trouble with the Hill—the farm—is that nothing ever happens there. He expects this summer, the summer of his fourteenth year, to be no different. First there is Jenny Holmes, whom he can go to see only on the pretext of seeing her brother, Les, a real pain. Jenny, who lives a mile and a half away by moonlit trail through piney woods and cypress swamp. Then there is the ’gator hole, even further from the Hill, where one can bravely swim in the secret conviction that the ’gator is a myth. There are the great summer thunderstorms, but they are to be expected. And then there is Rodney, also fourteen, down from White Plains, New York—his mother recently deceased—come to spend the summer on the Hill. But even if Jack never says so, at the summer’s end, he’ll know that much indeed has happened this summer on the Hill, much that is tender and warm—and quite real—in this story that is not so much of adolescence as it is of life itself—and of our right to hold to its celebration.