The Golden Dream by Jean Nielsen (1959)

Inside the house Starli's mother was still waiting up. "Oh, Mother," she cried, "Avery brought me home, and then daddy . . ."
"Hush, dear, I heard it all." Mrs. Ryland was very gentle.
"It's the first time a boy has ever liked me. And he said such wonderful things. Then Daddy began to--but maybe it's all just a dream."
"But it isn't, Starli, so you might as well make the best of things. They're going to get better. They have to, because I'm afraid they can't get much worse." (from the back cover)

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