A wise and compassionate novel set primarily in the staffroom of a girl's school. It tells the story of Josephine, a caring teacher who becomes emotionally involved in the plight of one of her students, Cressida. Cressida is a fragile girl, almost suicidal, and Josephine encourages her to stand up to her mother and take charge of her own destiny.
Another student, Cynthia, did take her own life, and the memory of her story hovers over the consciences of the teachers, particularly Josephine. It is Josephine who must work out the fine line between teacher and student, parent and child, between caring and interfering in others' lives; and along the way, she learns some unexpected lessons about love.