Helen Potter and her pet rat who she rescued from the school lab are runaways. She has an interest in Beatrix Potter who was also named Helen and takes comfort in copying her drawings. She falls in with a friendly lad from Newcastle who lets her live in his squat with his friends. After her rat is killed by a cat she leaves and moves to the Lake District where Beatrix Potter is from.
She can't bear physical touch and during the course of the novel the reason is explained. She is a victim of abuse from a close family member. The book deals with how she deals with what has happened to her as well as the many Beatrix Potter parallels. The drawings are perfect to accompany the story and bring it to life in a way words alone could not.
It is at times a difficult novel to read, but it is definitely an important one that I highly recommend. The issue of abuse is not something to brush under the carpet no matter how painful it is and it needs discussing. I really loved this graphic novel and I really appreciated that the ending was not happy ever after and sugar coated, it was far more realistic and true to life.