[Annemarie] hesitated and glanced at her mother, fearful that she had said the wrong thing, the thing that would bring the pained look to her mother's face.
In this quotation, Annemarie and her mother have been talking about the old days. Annemarie is very aware of her mother's reaction to anything having to do with Lise. The death of Lise, Mrs. Johansen's first daughter, is something of which Mrs. Johansen never speaks. Annemarie does not like to make her mother think about Lise for fear of upsetting her. This shows Annemarie's clearly developed sense of protection for her mother. Annemarie is a child, but she has been exposed to tragedy. Lise's death has made Annemarie more careful than most children would be of their parents' feelings. Even though Annemarie does not realize that her sister's death was the doing of the Germans, we can see how the war has already shaped the way Annemarie acts. She is more mature than she might be otherwise.