Lon Renton was abandoned for two years in a military school after his mother died of cancer. Now that his father has married Thelma, a school teacher, Lon goes to live with them in Milwaukee for his senior year. Thelma, who describes herself ""is equally honest in her attempt to with a raw honesty as ""skinny, old and strict, reach Lon as a stepmother, but Lon's lips are clenched in a thin line of hostility-toward everyone, except Hermine Mannheim, with whom he falls in love. He also decides to quit school at Christmas and get a Job and even Hermine cannot dissuade him. But after a week away, in a dingy furnished downtown room, he manages to lick his wrong-headed resentments and levels with his stepmother, with Hermine, with himself.... Summers, in one of his better books, deals with another problem which is part of the contemporary currency and writes up, for this age group, rather than down to it, with a marked degree of identification.