Frank Talley was a young industrious boy living in a well-to-do family until his parents, sister and brother were killed in an automobile accident while taking his older sister to start her college studies. His family's closest friends have a contract that in case of an accident to either set of parents; the remaining parents would serve as guardians to the others' children. He and Rosie, the daughter of his adoptive parents fall in love but Frank starts to think of Rosie as a sister and fights falling in love with her and soon comes to regard her as his sister. His guardian finds the family's former maid, Iris, and rehires her to take care of the house Frank inherited and serve as his live in caretaker. He falls in love with Iris but realizes their age difference thwarts his love. His first sexual encounters occur when three gold diggers seduce him. He has several other sexual encounters as he matures and soon learns the difference between girls who would be his friend and those who would rather share his wealth. Frank, as he matures, becomes aware of the moral implications of sex with young females and cleans up his act. When he graduates from Highschool he enlists in the navy. He discovers his love for his housekeeper Iris is now mutual and she joins him in Bremerton, Washington. They marry as he studies to become a radio operator at the navy base in Bremerton. He and his three closest friends are assigned to the USS Ben Franklin, CV 13. e carrier is attacked and badly damaged off the coast of Japan. Frank is badly wounded but still manages to pull two of his friends to safety but the third is dead. He blames himself for not being able to save his third friend. At the same time as the carrier Ben Franklin is attacked and Frank is wounded, his wife Iris is killed when a truck slams into her car as she is returning from a visit to her doctor. For his heroics in saving two of his friends Frank is awarded the Silver Star. While in recovery from his wounds he realizes Rosie is not his sister and he falls in deeply in love with her again.