Raised and sheltered by strict parents, Lena Berg has always been viewed as an ""odd duck"" by her classmates. When she was eighteen, Lena happily left her home in northern Sweden to attend school in Stockholm. In the city, she would be able to draw endlessly and fulfill her dream of becoming a fashion designer. The initial enchantment wears off, as Lena begins to feel the anguish of loneliness. Margita, the only girl who befriends Lena, uses her as a backdrop for her own reckless antics. Later in the term, Michael, a popular boy in school, encourages ena to respect her own abilities. This story of Lena's loneliness, of the strange friendship with Margita, and of her relationship with Michael, is sensitively written, and far surpasses the run-of-the-mill teenage romance.