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Wisconsin, 1961. Evelyn "Button" Peters is nine the summer Winnalee and her fiery-spirited older sister, Freeda, blow into her small town-and from the moment she sees them, Button knows this will be a summer unlike any other.
Much to her mother's dismay, Button is fascinated by the Malone sisters, especially Winnalee, a feisty scrap of a thing who carries around a shiny silver urn containing her mother's ashes and a tome she calls "The Book of Bright Ideas." It is here, Winnalee tells Button, that she records everything she learns: her answers to the mysteries of life. But sometimes those mysteries conceal a truth better left buried. And when a devastating secret is suddenly revealed, dividing loyalties and uprooting lives, no one-from Winnalee and her sister to Button and her family-will ever be the same.