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In the aftermath of World War II, 8-year-old Luellen Enright is orphaned and shipped to San Francisco and the care of a covetous aunt, over-friendly uncle, and adolescent male cousins.
Her only friend is a neighbor boy-the sickly and eccentric “Chickweed”, who writes in his “Book of Dreams” and makes home movies. Lulu suffers indignities and all manner of abuse, is finally accused of murder, and sent to juvenile detention.
Years later Lulu sets out to reclaim what was taken from her-a priceless Sung vase left by her missionary father, baldly stolen by her aunt.
One of four Jack Vance mystery novels which never found a mainstream publisher, The View from Chickweed’s Window tells in delicate detail the misery of a defenseless child in the hands of unpleasant adults, and cruel older children. In typical style Vance gives us a robust heroine who, rather than crushed by hardship-is instead motivated strongly to restore justice, with a focus on result over scruple!