Reluctant to leave her home for a new life in Chicago, 16 year old Lauren Lacy compromises by gaining permission from her father to remain at home with a housekeeper and until the end of the summer. Under her chaperone's influence, Lauren develops on interest in interior decorating which is abruptly curtailed by the shocking news of her father's remarriage. The move to Chicago is cancelled and Lauren is faced with the ominous task of adjusting to stepmother and a 15 year old stepsister. The remainder of the novel is concerned with the stages of this adjustment as Lauren passes from resentment and jealousy to more congenial emotions. After many days of tension and misery, a turning point is reached. Lauren is secretly informed of her stepmother's pregnancy. Flattered by the confidence, her anger dissolves into sweet sentiment and she is now capable of dealing with similar negative feelings in her younger stepsister. The flimsy motivation for this drastic change in the heroine, the absence of psychological insight in depicting a common and serious family crisis, the diffuse nature of the plot make this thoroughly unsatisfying. This has been better done in other books.