Well, that was an embarrassingly devastating re-read. It's been ... a number of decades (which I refuse to think about), since this book was relevant to me, but I couldn't resist when I found a copy. I remembered nothing about it save it was one of those books I read as a pre-teen.
This isn't so much a story, as it is a snapshot of a moment in time that's nothing but constant change for any tween, but poor Annie and Rachel get hit with a trifecta of monumental changes all in a few short months. Best friends and neighbours since nursery school, Rachel's parents are divorcing and moving her to NYC. This is a snapshot, as told from the POV of a 12 year old, of the way life's changes are often completely outside your control, happening whether you like it or not.
Honestly, this book made me a weepy, sniffly mess. I can't believe how relevant it is at its core after almost 40 years. There's a conversation on a landline, something most kids won't recognise today, but the rest of this very short story entirely focuses on the things that are timeless: friendship, jealousy, guilt, sorrow, it's all here. There're no quick answers or fixes offered, just a very empathetic narrative that doesn't talk down or preach (although I suspect the writing style would be considered too simplistic in comparison to today's titles). I'd have no hesitation giving this to my nieces if and when it's relevant - along with a packet of tissues, just in case.