I wanted to love this book. I really, really did, in part because the cover was lovely. I usually have an incredible soft spot for stories about families who protect and care for each other. The prose is very beautiful, and the Vermont landscape is lovingly described. However... there were a couple of things about this story that drove me completely crazy by the end.
1) Everything that could possibly go wrong, does. I do mean EVERYTHING. Every time the sisters take initiative and come up with an idea, it fails catastrophically within pages. To the point that I almost started to wonder if the moral of the story is "Don't ever take initiative! YOU WILL DIE!" Every idea these two little girls have just leads to more pain and struggle. It was depressing and eventually felt annoying and a bit contrived.
2) This section is spoilery: The girls' great journey, the one that causes so much pain and hardship, that ends with them badly injured and one of them almost dying? It is for NOTHING. Absolutely pointless. The journey, quest if you will, that takes up almost the entire book... It avails them nothing. At the end, they're right where they started, just injured and traumatized. There's a pretty sentiment tacked on about how "love is the greatest magic", and it's a nice thought, but for me it wasn't enough to make up for the pointlessness of most of the book.
In conclusion: The author definitely has potential, but I'd skip this one.