At 15, Jody is the kind of person most girls would like to be at that age: though far from completely sure of herself she is poised and sensible enough to profit from all that comes her way during a year at a Swiss boarding school. Sailing from New York, Jody finds herself in the same stateroom with Mary Lou, a southern girl, who is also going to L'Ecole aux Rochers. But Mary Lou with her veneer of sophistication starts things off the wrong way merely tolerating Jody, until Jody recovers and makes friends with Timothy Lyle, whose parents are book illustrators who will give lectures abroad. Tim is recovering from a serious illness and he and Jody form a lasting friendship that brings them good times together when they meet abroad. Jody herself does well at school. Her openness with the girls and teachers shows up against Mary Lou's frivolity, and, following her convictions, Jody ends an exciting year happily.