A popular college town minister and his wife want to adopt a four-year-old girl but learn she has three older brothers and decide to welcome all four children into their home. They arrive from a bleak county children' s home, bringing with them invisible histories of neglect and abuse. This true story, based on case files and family interviews, opens with the children's background and the oldest boy's determined struggle to keep his family together. The four children barely survive ever worse threats as they lose the adults in their world to imprisonment, abandonment, and death. When all seems hopeless, a talented social worker intervenes, trying to change their fate. This is a lively and sometimes humorous story. Children of the Manse entertains as it describes how four wounded children respond to intelligent and loving foster care.