Scott was enamoured of Hilah Brown the summer his mother died, when he was twelve and Hilah was his 21-year-old swimming teacher. Four years later Hilah comes back to town to teach in the high school, and all the old feelings revive. This time, though, Scott hopes he's ""catching up"" with Hilah, that he's more nearly her contemporary. But Hilah takes up with Scott's father, a doctor Scott still resents for ""letting"" his mother die, and Scott's jealous sense of outrage and betrayal makes life so miserable for all three that the two adults finally cancel their marriage plans. But the emotionally confused Scott's further misbehavior brings the pair back together: He takes the despondent Hilah on a midnight ride to his mother's childhood home four hours away, discovers on arrival that it's a far cry from the lovely dream his mother had left him to fix upon all these years, and promptly breaks down with what turns out to be not just cleansing disillusionment but a case of strep throat. When it's over, Scott is willing if not happy to accept the relationship between Hilah and his father, and ready to go on with his own life. Scott's torment is relieved here and there by his friends' adolescent wisecracks and horsing around, and, less briskly, by the medical malapropisms of the family's caricature of a housekeeper. Hilah, whose favorite word is ""copasetic,"" doesn't show us much real spark or personality either, and Scott's father even less. Mostly, this is mired deep in Scott's self-involved brooding--which is, of course, not unlikely behavior and not without possible appeal to others so inclined.