Waiting for the results of her pregnancy test, high-school aged Mia goes through a period of anxiety and reexamination that any young woman must empathize with. Mia's situation is complicated by the fact that her parents' marriage is collapsing, overwhelmed by her mother's feelings of unfulfillment, and by the religious scruples and self-preoccupied sympathies of her boyfriend Jan (""It's come at a hell of an awkward time""). Paradoxically here confusion is deeper because this is Sweden, where unwed motherhood is a more realistic option and where attitudes toward abortion tend to be morally convoluted as compared to the simple pro-anti polarity in the U.S. Within the few short days before Mia's reprieve there are many tense and touching scenes -- a reconciliation with the father she has resented, a woman to woman talk with her grandmother who is restive at being shoved away in an old age home, the realization that she cannot depend on Jan for emotional support. Yet despite these flashes of personal interaction, there's so much earnest talk here that Mia often fades into the role of surrogate debater. It's a role that readers who identify with her problem will no doubt allow her, no matter how much the sober, sociological pose limits her sticking power as a fictional character.