Thirteen-year-old Evelyn's first bout with summer romance begins when her ""artist"" mother decides to attend a summer workshop conducted by her old college boyfriend, the flamboyant Rodney, who has made his mark as a painter much to businessman Dad's surprise. Mom proposes taking Ev along to visit the Kentucky farm of another college friend, Caroline, while Mom stays at Ravenswood, an old mansion that will house the workshop. Dad seems to want Ev to go and she herself, uneasy about Mom and Rodney, feels a vague urge to chaperone. Then too, Caroline's 15-year-old son Chet has sent By a nice inviting letter. So here she is on a Kentucky farm, coping with an in-house outhouse, humiliated when the cow kicks the bucket on her first attempt at milking, finding Chet decent but dull--and attracted to sexy, dangerous Red, Chet's 17-year-old cousin who grows marijuana, raises fighting cocks, and kisses Ev passionately all one afternoon though both feel crumby about excluding Chet. But when the session with the arrogant Red is compounded by the disappearance of a barn kitten Ev has adopted and a less-than-sympathetic response from a harried Caroline, it all becomes too much for the 13-year-old. She flees to Ravenswood, only to find her mother off with Rodney. The rest is all wish-fulfilling putting-to-rights: a nice young man Ev meets at Ravenswood takes her back to the farm, where Chet has found her kitten and promises to write. And, just as Ev has overcome her attraction to Red, Mom too recovers from Rodney's charms: ""Ev, Daddy is my home to me, my love, my safe harbor. Rodney is a ghost laid to rest."" With everything so handily and safely taken care of and with all these attractive young men, this is best seen as a step up--and it is, in shading and dimension and general picture quality--from the formula young romance.