Though the British slang may present minor difficulties, this is really a cut above most teenage ""problem"" novels in the maturity of its viewpoint and in its treatment of serious problems without undue self-importance. At nineteen, Jan has only recently accomplished her lifelong goal of getting away from her secure but boring home when she's called back to the bedside of her dying mother. After the mother's death Jan's guilt and her resentment against her carping older sisters and her brother -- a sympathetic man, but too inclined to remind everyone of the sacrifices he has made for the family -- make her vow to cut herself off from the family entirely. But gradually Jan begins to develop a close friendship with her troubled brother David and to feel estranged from her rich roommate Rowena whose parents take a kind but not very effective interest in her. Both Jan's surprise at the depth of her sorrow over a mother she never really felt close to and her learning to accept the financial and emotional debt she owes her brother are neatly understated. Anyone who has ever faced the death of a parent, or merely felt the conflicting tugs of rebellion and family responsibilities should find Jan a steadying companion.