Spine and corners bumped.
Mrs. Collier, a widow, lived in the small country town of Bamfield, with her children: Peter, the eldest and passionately fond of music; kind, gentle Jan, who helped her mother a lot; and Ruth and Rachel - Ruth as dark and timid as Rachel was boisterous and fair. The Colliers lived a calm and good-tempered family life until new neighbours - the Fosters - came to live next door. Mr. Foster was famous and exciting. With him came his sister, his son Andrew and daughter Emma. At first the Fosters, especially Emma with her gay confidence and poise, made the Collier way of life seem a little dull. For a time, too, Emma’s thoughtless chatter led Rachel into trouble and at school Emma upset both mistresses and girls. But gradually the two families grew to know and like one another and it was Emma who made friends with Jan and helped to bring great happiness to both families.a