In Chapter 1, twelve-year old Gypsy is looking forward to having her cousin Woodrow move in next door. Woodrow's mother Belle Prater inexplicably woke up one morning a few months ago, left the ramshackle house in an isolated hollow, and "vanished from the face of the earth". Gypsy goes to see Woodrow, hoping he can shed light on his mother's disappearance. Woodrow says that the secret lies in the lines of a poem he has read.
In Chapter 2, Gypsy learns from Grandpa that Belle Prater lived in the shadow of her beautiful sister Love, who is Gypsy's mother. Even Gypsy's father, who was in love with Belle first, left Belle as soon as he met the more comely Love. Gypsy's father is dead now, and Gypsy hates Porter, her stepfather.
In Chapter 3, Gypsy goes to town with Woodrow so that he can get a haircut at the barbershop. Gypsy is appalled at the callous way the barbershop regulars question Woodrow about his mother and make comments about his crossed eyes. Gypsy realizes that Woodrow would never be unkind like that.
In Chapter 4, the family gets together at dinner to celebrate Porter's birthday. Woodrow tells the story of the day he was born, and how his mother met him in an out-of-body experience just before he was delivered. Woodrow later reflects, to Gypsy's astonishment, that this has been the most memorable day of his life.
a summary is that woodrow was sent to live with his grandparents and his cousin that lived beside him gypsy