The story is set in 1978, in the sleepy West Coast college town of Tillicum. Lorelei McMillan, a young Australian emigre, is trying to make sense of her life just after her marriage has collapsed. She feels less like an outsider now that she is attending university; in her fellow visual art students she finds open and accepting friendship. Lorelei's view that men are simply prey, and her penchant to rush headlong into liaisons, often lead to disaster. Still, she seeks the emotional experience as inspiration for her art. In her good friends, particularly Paula, a social work student, she has support and advice when she wants it, which is seldom. Through Paula, she meets a practitioner of Eastern medicine who rattles her with his perceptions. Kwok Lee Morgan seems to be everything she finds exciting in a man, but she wants to be dubious about his talents, as she has met many men who have "lines" designed to ensnare women. Though he warns her of an impending health issue, she plunges headlong into a path of self-destructiveness before discovering she is seriously ill. She turns to Kwok Lee for help, and discovers that he, too, has emotional wounds. At first, she finds his instructions difficult, and rails against them, but eventually, she sees that Kwok Lee is sincere in his desire to help. In the end, they heal each other.
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Allison Band alright arms asked Lorelei asked Paula aware band bedroom began better Blackie breath brown rice called cancer Carl Cathi-Ann chemotherapy coffee couldn’t dance floor dark David death experience deep diet doctor door dress drink exclaimed face feel finished front glanced gone group home hair hand happened he’s heard I’ve Katy kitchen knew Kwok Lee laughed Lee Morgan Lee’s lemongrass Lesley Lore Lorelei felt Lorelei looked Lorelei sat Mandarin collar massage Mei Lundgren Michael Allison monoprint motorcycle move Myles okay printmaking pulled realized reiki relei replied roommates sandalwood scent seemed serigraph she’s shiver sighed sleep smiled softly someone sorry stood student sure talk tell There’s things thought Lorelei told Tomas tonight tried turned voice walk wasn’t watch What’s woman worried Yeah you’re you’ve young