It's 1955 and fourteen-year-old Emily Winter's promising start at Bromley, a posh, academically-challenging Manhattan girls' school, threatens to turn sour when her new friend Phoebe Barrett joins an anti-Semitic club founded by the popular and snobby Cressida Whitcroft.
But how can Emily stay angry with Phoebe, who shares Emily's fascination with knights and the Middle Ages, when Phoebe has put herself on a dangerously stringent diet and is sinking into an ever-deeper obsession with losing weight?
In a story about the search for identity and the triumph of friendship over bigotry, Emily discovers a knack for leadership as she copes with Phoebe's snubs, a newborn brother, a know-it-all classmate addicted to true-love magazines, a whiz kid who thinks he's James Dean, a fifteen-year-old fencer with an intriguing scar, and a surprise assignment that brings everyone together and helps banish prejudice at Bromley.
Martha Mendelsohn has worked as a translator for the French Embassy, an editorial assistant for Holt, Rinehart and Winston, and associate editor of Tikkum magazine. Her fiction and non-fiction works have appeared in The New York Times, Moment, Belief.net, Jewishmag.com, and The Jewish Week. She lives with her husband on Manhattan's Upper West Side.