Bonnie’s story begins at the commencement of her eighth-grade school year in 1961. But in so many ways, hers is a story of American youths during any time in our history, when young people struggle against the cruelty of their own peers, the difficulty of rapid sexual and physical growth and the even greater difficulty of holding onto ideals, while surmounting the hypocrisy of their elders. Bonnie is uprooted from her Bronx home at thirteen, taken from her violin instructor and from a city with enormous cultural advantages for any boy or girl with bus fare to Carnegie Hall or the Met Museum. She finds herself isolated in a new split-level, a new school, and new clothes, bereft of any connection to the art and culture that she loves. She loses her mother from an auto accident, but makes one good friend in a budding writer who with her beloved father, a disabled city fireman, helps her overcome a teenage rape, raise a child from that pregnancy, and find a path toward life-sustaining self-expression.