Although Nina's family seems happy, Nina already suspects that their happiness is a delicately assembled charade when, arriving at their summer cottage and finding that an intruder has violated the sanctity of the little house, her parents' paranoia surfaces and the family and its sunny pretense dissolves. In the end, the reality of the intruder's identity is so different from the surmises of parents, neighbors, and police that Nina is forced to confront and embrace the ""truth."" Broken into 150 fragments and written in a spare poetic style, the story gradually emerges from a dreamy, glancing-off narrative while Nina floats from shadowy awareness to a steadier grasp of her world and herself. By the 1990 Andersen Medalist; first published in Norway in 1976. Illustrations not seen.