When Hélène is packing up her belongings in readiness for her imminent move and marriage, she unearths a faded old exercise book. As she reads she cannot anticipate the effect it will have upon her own future. It is the diary of Juletane, a young West Indian woman. Written over three weeks, it records her short life; her lonely childhood in France, her marriage to an African student, and her eager return, with him, to Africa -- the land of her ancestors. In stark contrast to her naive illusions, the social realities of traditional Muslim life and their cultural demands on her as a woman threaten to drive her to unendurable extremes of loneliness and complete alienation. She is a foreigner, in spite of the color of her skin.