I was thinking about this book for months before I decided to find it again. I read and re-read this when I was growing up. I loved it then and I love it now.
Lucinda Wyman is a tomboy who doesn't fit into the box that her time and place would like to put her in. Her parents' trip to Italy buys her a year of freedom in which to explore 1890's New York on roller skates. The story of Lucinda, the wonderful people she befriends in the amazing city she loves was mesmerizing to me as a kid. I loved Lucinda and could relate to her because I didn't quite fit in, either, and I loved to read and talk to all kinds of people, and I made puppets and put on plays with them and adored The Tempest
. I still love just about all of those things (although I don't do puppet shows anymore) and I still love this book with its simple pleasures and enduring tragedies and joy of being alive and free out in the great big wonderful world.