Cassie Binegar (whose name rhymes with vinegar) hates her family's new house by the sea. She envies her friend Margaret Mary for her perfect home with its shiny kitchen counters and plastic flowers that are beautiful all the time. She is sur prised and a little shocked to find out that Margaret Mary adores Cassie's loud, slapdash family. Cassie yearns for orderliness in her life - for sameness. She wants things to go back to the way they used to be, in her old house, before Grandfather died. Then Gran comes, Gran who is so good at seeing the truth about cassie. Some other relatives arrive too: Uncle Hat, who talks in rhymes; Cousin Coralinda, who wears too many feathers; and Baby Binnie, who speaks a language all her own. Slowly, Cassie learns from them how to look at life through other people's eyes. And she learns there are some things that cannot - should not - stay the same forever.