A penetrating story of a young woman learning to cope with the conflicting demands of her parents' white and Native American cultures. Annette has spent her first 15 years in Port West, her dead father's small Nootka town; now, having won a scholarship, she's off with her mother to St. John's Academy in Victoria, B.C. There, she finds prejudice, teachers both gifted and mediocre, good friends, and unfamiliar concepts: "hurry up," "killing time," and running for competition rather than for pleasure. Returning to Port West for Christmas, she sees the old life with new eyes: rich in tradition, poor in economic and educational choices. Annette has her first period and, coached by her old godmother, undergoes a woman's rite of initiation; afterward, though proud of her heritage and new status, she decides to return to St. John's. Robinson differentiates and develops her characters with skill: Annette and the other women are intelligent and self-aware. (The men don't come off so well--Annette's only Native American classmate contemptuously drops out, and her godmother's new neighbor is a drunken idler.) Annette's internal conflict is described with clarity and sensitivity; readers will applaud her strength, and may be moved by her example to examine their own heritages more closely.