An only child of Catholic Dublin parents, Ellen was a strange, solitary girl. She was lumpish and dull, she was lonely. But she had resigned herself to this, and wanted nothing more from life than to be left alone in her isolation, to carry out a quiet typing job without interference, without change. If only her mother would stop entertaining such ambitious fantasies for her. When Ellen's hopes of an academic career fell through, Mrs Yates moved on to visions of a glittering social success, inviting strange girls around for elaborate teas and friendships which never materialised. Then Ellen met Myra. Pretty, rosy Myra who wanted Ellen to be her friend, to meet her family, to share a flat! A new world unfolded, a world which Ellen found completely voluptuous; evenings by the fire, fish and chip suppers, secrets shared with a friend - even if that friend could sometimes be casually brutal. Throughout the summer months, there were lazy days spent in the garden with Adrien, Myra's stockbroker boyfriend and his cousin. Bobbie even paid attention to Ellen. She had never imagined that life could be like this, and she wanted it to go on forever. Who would have thought that the idyll could be violated - let alone in the shocking way it was?