Joan Mitchell has been dating safe and boring Fred for quite a while, when she has a fling with the blunt and somewhat more dangerous Michael Kern. She becomes pregnant by Michael and her family rather matter-of-factly arranges an abortion for her. She never tells Fred and they get back together again, though she keeps him so at arms length he eventually gives up on her. Michael's indifference to her having the abortion soon unhinges her, and she seeks revenge against him by scandalizing him to his boss. Grau writes in a very spare style that moves the story (and the reader) along quickly; she avoids any histrionics on Joan's part, which places the emotional response to what she's up to totally on the shoulders of the reader. She does not rely on a lot of description and doesn't feel the need to inform the reader of every incident the characters engage in (the love-making, for example, between Joan and Michael is barely hinted at). Grau is a good storyteller with an interesting knack of keeping the reader focused on her narrative while carefully controlling the emotions of her characters. It's a good novel worth checking out.