Jane Cahill has suffered years of neglect and abuse in the home of her aunt and uncle. Her aunt is a kindly person, but too weak to stand up to her husband. Jane's uncle blames the girl for being part of his brother's murder and as a consequence has treated her like dirt. When Jane was a little girl, her mother murdered her father, a nasty, abusive man who beat his wife and threatened Jane. Jane's mother is serving a long sentence in prison for the crime and specifically asked that Jane never try to get in touch with her. The unhappy circumstances of her life have made Jane a withdrawn loner. As soon as she is able, Jane leaves the home of her aunt and uncle and re turns to the now decrepit home of her parents. There, she plans to live alone, surviving on what she can grow in a garden and what she can earn by rabbit farming.