This moving tale touches on a painful subject with sensitivity and humor, but little sentimentality: Abigail has been sent to stay with her aunt and uncle in the city because her mother is gravely ill, and soon after her arrival there, her mother dies. By mistake, Abigail swallows the most expensive stamp in her uncle’s stamp collection. Her uncle is aware of the fact, but decides to say nothing. It is clear that Abigail cannot go home yet because her father is still coping with his grief. The lonely and sad Abigail must form new relationships in this strange environment. We learn of her feelings for her uncle, who at first seems intimidating but later proves to be warm and understanding.
Abigail finally finds a good friend – Talia. Talia lives with her rather bohemian grandmother and has her own problems with her parents. Her mother makes a habit of divorcing and remarrying, and her father has remarried and lives in England. Talia goes to England to visit her father and Abigail is alone once again. Talia’s grandmother does her best to console her grandaughter's friend.
Finally the day comes when she can go home to her father. She renews her friendship with her old friend Likki and decides to make a fresh start. On her birthday, Talia comes and pays a visit along with her mother. Abigail is pleased because her absentminded father surprisingly remembered to buy her a birthday present. But the best gift of all, so she says, was when her father laughed aloud at something Talia’s mother said.
Excerpt available in English translation