The distance from North Carolina to Rio is quickly bridged by Peggy Jamison when her father's business takes the family to South America. Her original apprehensions about ""foreigners"" are dispelled as the gay whirl of teenage activities, dominated by Carlos Almeida, claims her full attention. Mrs. Jamison finds her own adjustment more difficult. Her southern background interferes with her 8 year old son's friendship with a Negro boy as well as with her own social contact with people like the Almeidas. Peggy's conscious recognition of the difference between herself and her mother results in a new sense of freedom that permits contact with poverty in a hospital clinic, and diverse social relationships. Ironically, the traditions of the Almeidas are close in spirit to Mrs. Jamison's Carlos is betrothed to a distant relative despite his love for Peggy. The Jamisons leave Rio soon after, but Peggy is undefeated. She does not embrace her mother's values out of her own disappointment and heartbreak, nor can she possibly regret the experiences of the past year. Miss Cavanna has written a serious and provocative story without the usual fanfare. Like the problems she presents, her resolutions and characterizations are not simple. Against a colorful South American background, they take on shape and meaning.