This is the story of Pearl a girl born the same day as the attack on Pearl Harbor. It follows her through her life til she is sixteen.
She first meets Walking Mary when she is about six, Mary the town "witch" saves her from drowning.
Over the next few years they run into each other time and again.
Finally to cope with her father's abuse Pearl begins to emulate Mary. From the way she dresses to the walking to meet the train every time it comes into town to see if her son (killed in WW1), has returned home yet.
The story is similar to Ellen Foster in the content and yet at the same time this is a much better book. It's not as creepy. This is one of those books that while it would fit into High School curriculum very well it is still a good read.