Ruth grew too fast.
As a young girl over seven feet tall, she looms over adults and has a unique bird’s-eye perspective. She does not just remember but watches her past play out: her ongoing struggle to conceal the physical and mental symptoms that accompany her rapid growth, to connect with other children, and to appease her concerned parents, Elspeth, an English seamstress who lost her family to the war, and James, a mailman rethinking his constant compliance to his wife’s decisions. Not knowing what to do about Ruth, Elspeth and James turn inward, away from one another, and as their marriage falters, Ruth finds herself increasingly drawn to the dangerous girl, Suzy, next door.
Ruth is not precocious, nor a prodigy, but she has extraordinary vision, and, despite what her uncommon exterior might suggest, she is exceedingly sensitive to the world below her. Possessing an uncanny ability to intuit the emotional secrets of her family’s past and present, Ruth gently surfaces Elspeth and James’s vulnerabilities, their regrets, and their deepest longings.