Janie Marshall's life on a Maine Island culminates in her twelfth year in an eruption of conflict based on her profound sensitivity to the island's beauty and her feeling that she is somehow trapped. She feels desperately in need of a friend with whom she can share her stirring perceptions of beauty and her wealth of fantasies. The arrival of Myra, a city girl, acts as a catalyst in Janie's life. For Myra, practical, devoted to prosaic chores, does not respond to Janie's enthusiasms and Janie, frustrated by their lack of communication and goaded on by her mother's desire that she should emulate the docile girl, becomes consumed with loathing for her. It is only a shared experience in which the lives of both girls are threatened that brings the two together in a friendship based on mutual respect and the acceptance that they are essentially unlike. Dorothy Simpson skillfully projects her heroine, who, limited by her femininity to a more or less humdrum life, expresses all the poignant discontent of early adolescence, a discontent magnified by intelligence and spiritedness, and intensified by the constant exposure to the stirring beauty of the Maine landscape.