In clinically affectless prose, the pubescent daydreams of twelve-year-old Paula as she passes a summer on the lake painting watercolors, designing clothes for paper dolls, and imagining that Tom Kadrie, her neighbor's jazz musician boyfriend, is secretly in love with her. Five years later, when she's in New York for a weekend, Paula calls Tom (who hardly remembers her) and makes a date. His seedy apartment, his sexual expectations, his ineffectually half-hearted friendliness all intrude on her carefully cultivated fantasies, but there's none of the morally uplifting, psychologically improbable instant maturity so common in teenage fiction. Paula's unenviable innocence remains intact, and on the plane out of New York we see her interest beginning to shift to the Princeton student sitting in front of her. The illusions and vulnerability of adolescence are depicted with an unflinching accuracy, and young women will find this a moving and sensitive examination of the painful side of growing up.