The story is too subordinated to the informational, aspects of this book to make it noteworthy as a novel; nevertheless it does offer an exceptionally frank viewpoint of the frequently over-glamorized field of championship and professional ice-skating, as well as honest recognition of the personal sacrifices the talented person must generally make to achieve success. Barbara McAllister, a teenaged contender for a top position in amateur skating, is portrayed as the sort of girl one has to admire but can't particularly like. While keeping up with her full time studies, she manages to put in hours of concentrated practice and to maintain a single minded approach to developing perfection. Her rigid schedule requires omitting something in the form of teen existence, and in her case it means practically no friends--something she really doesn't miss. The people she does associate with, like her widowed mother and her coach, are forced to be just as dominated by her ambitions as she is. Late in the book Barbara develops a superficial understanding of her selfishness, and a vague desire to moderate her aspirations, but this tempering seems unrealistic and unlikely in terms of the very convincing way her personality is depicted. There is a lot of good technical information in this book which offers a welcome contrast to the usual career glow.