A touching "riches to rags" story set during the second-worst disaster in the history of Atlantic Canada.
Eleven-year-old Triffie is the middle daughter of a well-to-do merchant. Triffie knows nothing about what it means to be poor — until the disastrous fire of 1892 burns down most of St. John's, Newfoundland, leaving Triffie's family and 15,000 others homeless.
The fire claimed everything but their underwear, Mother's best china . . . and Triffie's journal. With no other options, Triffie's family moves into a filthy warehouse while they attempt to rebuild their lives from the ground up.
The aftermath of the fire teaches Triffie a lot about what it means to survive. More importantly, she comes face to face with her own prejudices, and begins to develop a much greater appreciation for how the less fortunate live.