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Proserpina’s grades are unspectacular, which is nothing new. Her mother will urge and cajole; Proserpina will reiterate that, sans any intention of attending college, she has more important things to take care of.

Watching a soggy winter landscape out the train window, she takes stock. What does she have? One best friend, one confidant, and a hundred other girls filled with either fear or admiration of her. A Greek textbook inherited from an older student, margins filled with notes about all the good scandals. Nineteen pairs of mismatched socks.

And, she understands within minutes of arriving home for Christmas, a suitor.