She works at Norrk ping Hospital, at the very bottom of the hierarchy. Below the doctors, the nurses, and the nursing assistants. She works in the cafeteria. But she dreams of one day becoming an author, of moving away and living a completely different life.
Carl Malmberg, an older married man who works as a doctor at the hospital, stands out. Our protagonist enters into a passionate affair, though struggles with the knowledge that he may never be hers. At the same time, she finds her life further complicated as she wonders whether Dr. Malmberg's sexual interest in her might be centered around the lopsided power dynamic between them, and whether a mysterious girl named Alex might be in love with her.
As the novel unfolds, a secret no one could have predicted has consequences on all involved.