The believably plotted but crudely imagined account of how smothered, compliant Beth Goodall comes into her own. The situation seems tailored for a paperback teen-romance: Beth, named after the sweet sister in Little Women, is forced into that role by doting parents, but her spirited sister Louisa, named for the same book's author, is sullen and rebellious. As Beth puts it, ""Who could blame her? They [the parents] treated her like a natural disaster."" Most unfairly, they show no appreciation for Louisa's hard work in the family hardware store and her ideas for improving the business. The romance gets into gear when dazzling, bad-news Jason, a rich tourist to their towny status in Sand Key, Florida, switches his attention from Louisa to Beth and wins her over with a pretended interest in her art work and with syrupy words. Beth begins sneaking off to meet Jason, but they quarrel and finally split over his compulsion to shoplift. Thus, in standing up to him, Beth's old goodness asserts itself as strength. And when her portrait of Jason wins her a summer art scholarship, she stands up to her parents too, asserting her right to accept it rather than stay home and help in the store. Meanwhile Louisa, in the very same scene, establishes her right to work in the store as a valuable helper. While Beth's progress from submissive to smitten to self-assertive makes sense, the family dynamics are contrived and there is no depth or shading to the characterization.