The old clichÃ‰ of the preacher's daughter who goes wrong is acted out here, without a spark of individuality, by Sissy's beautiful older sister Charlotte--who leaves her drab Colorado home for Smith College and learns from an aunt back East that her pious mother had an abortion in her teens. (Mother's present long-suffering image is enhanced by the retarded son she's now devoted to and the dead one, Sissy's twin, who succumbed to diphtheria at eight.) Resentful of her family's grim values and hand-me-down clothes, Charlotte leaves school for a life that brings her the expensive duds and satin sheets she's always wanted. She also buys clothes for the adoring Sissy--but when Sissy enters UCLA, with a scholarship and further help from a friend's family, she begins seeing her sister, and is literally sick (for days) on discovering that Charlotte is a call girl and, more recently, a drug dealer. Sissy participates in a little intrigue to help her sister when Charlotte's dealing brings her up against the mob, but Charlotte's greed gets the better of her and she's killed, stabbed in the back, while attempting to flee to Hawaii. It's all a blow to Sissy . . . but meanwhile she's acquired a loving premed student, who stands by her and proposes marriage when it's over. (This being a modern romance, Sissy, who's not yet 18, answers that she needs time on her own first.) In short, the stereotypes grow less and less credible as the story drags on to its melodramatic, then sappy, conclusion.