Through vivid characterizations of people and place, Joyce West’s storytelling draws her reader into the richly-textured, rural setting of New Zealand in the mid-20th century. In this first book, young Gabrielle Allan (called Gay) is living contentedly on Drovers Road, her Uncle Dunsany’s sheep station in the hill country a hundred miles from Gisborne. Besides her young bachelor uncle there are her three orphaned cousins—Eve, Hugh and Merry—and their Great-Aunt Belle. Taken in by Dunsany years before, after her parents’ divorce, Gay now scarcely remembers any other life. There are lessons at the local school, taught by pretty, sensible Susan Leigh, regular chores, plenty of horse riding and jumping, and pranks with Merry. Amid unforgettable characters, careless actions and scary consequences, young Gabrielle learns and grows, ever thankful for the shared ups and downs of the unconventional, caring family she has been given.