Thirteen-year-old Maggie Frake is a milliona ire''s daughter. Despite her attempts to hide wealth from her poorer school-fellows, her veil of secrecy is removed, and she is the victim of mass snobbery and horrific cruelty. '
Thirteen-year-old Maggie Frake is a millionaire's daughter and an only child. Despite her ardent attempts to hide her wealth from her poorer school-fellows, her veil of secrecy is removed, and she is the victim of mass inverted snobbery and horrific cruelty, which even at its worst, only partially cracks her brave, plucky psyche. She has three episodes of happiness in her short life. At school, she falls in love with Simon who dies of meningitis. Her most significant suitor is the world-famous, tormented Dr Epstein by whom she is besotted. When his dark secret in connection with leopards is exposed, he dies mysteriously in a power boat crash. Maggie is then the tragic victim of a sadistic national vendetta. Her third and last lover prefers to be known simply as "the Frenchman". He brightens her dour life by living with her for three months. The story reaches a surreal and horrifying climax. Despite the grim subject matter, the narrative throughout is laced by hilarious, rich, if somewhat black humour.