Adolescence, eroticism and death are entwined in this story of Rebecca who, still haunted by her fathers suicide, is in her ujnior year at an elite boarding school. Her friendship with sunny, innocent Lucy is invaded by the arrival of Ernessa, a dark and disturbingly beautiful girl from europe.
As Ernessa consumes more and more of lucy's attention, Rebecca sees Lucy's healthy young body growing paler and weaker by the day, as if being drained of life itself.
Is Rebecca in the grip of jealousy and obessive friendship, and ascribing impossible powers to Ernessa? Or is Ernessa gunuinely evil? When Lucy's ilness becomes palpable, Rebecca finds herself left alone to battle with Ernessa for the life of her friend.