When Emily Grey fails her exams at the end of her first year at university, she starts to worry that her easy-going approach to life may have laid waste to her plans for her future. But then she receives a letter telling her of a new scheme in which she will be given a second chance. This second chance, however, comes at a price. The world around Emily is changing rapidly, and new notions about discipline are being quietly introduced without most people even being aware of them. We follow Emily through this severe new world as she learns to navigate its humiliations, its hardships and its fascinating delights.