Dulcie's father, a janitor, just died. Her mother decides to move her and Dulcie cross country to California from Connecticut. As soon as Dulcie steps foot in CA, she knows that's not where she belongs. She steals her mother's truck and makes her way back to Newbury, to her grandfather and her home. Dulcie's grandfather, Frank, lets her come back and work for him, without pay, as punishment for worrying her mother when she left. Frank has already hired another helper, Roxanne. Soon, Roxanne and Dulcie become friends. When Dulcie and Frank discover the truth about Roxanne's relationship with her abusive mother, they have to figure out a way to help her.
When I first picked up this book, I thought it would be a sad story about death and moving on. It was sad, but the novel also had a feeling of hope and looking towards the future. Aside from death, Defining Dulcie also dealt with serious issues like abuse. This book was pretty good, especially for a debut novel. I'll be looking forward to reading more books by the author.