War, the scourge of the world. It
is worse when a country is wrenching itself to pieces. Our civil war tore families apart, pit brother against brother. Although
northern Michigan was hundreds of miles away from the fight, men there were called to fight. While one father is off fighting
the war, two families care for each other during the good days, and the bad. Phebe is a teenager, almost. To read her exploits
one would picture someone much older. She grew up too fast.
Slavery was the issue, but when
a slave family goes north to the home of the only soldier sent by these two families, all that is seen is love. Janet shows,
in vivid detail, the proper way for all to be treated. There is no issue of color, or discrimination. My dear Phebe is a classic
example of how families can become so closely entwined with another that it is a challenge to remember who belongs to which
family. That sums up the book, and it shows us, the reader, just how to best treat our neighbors.