Lily's "outsider" status is a function of her having no mother and a father who is unable to nurture her properly. All Lily has is Rosaleen, who is alone in the world, too. So, Lily lacks a "queen bee." Lily makes her way by finding a family that loves and appreciates her, and by loving and appreciating that family. Once she has discovered the truth about her mother, she is able to make some peace with her past, and become a part of a new family. Also, she finds a community and a connection with God with the Sisters of Mary, and a relationship with Zeke. During the course of the novel, she moves from being nearly an orphan to having a family, a community, a religion, and a boyfriend. Not bad for a fourteen-year-old girl!