A short, wistful, unretouched novel by a Brazilian dealing with the deracination of a girl from, her farm beginnings to the city where she fends off the worldlier circumstances of her new life. Biela is small, squat, ungainly, even a little farouche and the transition from calicos to silks and velvets changes little-- clothes do not remake the girl whom no one in her new family of cousins really understands. Her later abandonment by an unwanted fiance leads to her further reclusiveness and regression, sharing the life of the kitchen. At the last, having adopted a mangy mongrel, she is coughing her way to her death through a nimbus of occasional happier memories. . . . A conte, perfectly proportioned within its simple dimensions and never trespassing beyond its valid sentimental appeal.