The story based on Pierre Louys' turn-of the century novel, deals with a young schoolgirl's awakening to love. It takes place during her summer vacation at the home of a family friend, Melissa. The young girl, Bilitis, is shocked when she witnesses her friend and her husband making love, however, Melissa encourages Bilitis to discover the aspects of love by seeing a young photographer, Lucas. When Lucas tries to make love to Bilitis, she rebuffs him and runs to Melissa, who in comforting Bilitis finds herself responding to her kisses and embraces. Melissa tells Bilitis there must be nothing between them.
Bilitis discovers Melissa's husband is with another woman, she she decides to find another man for Melissa. She returns with Nikias, a rich young man who has loved too many and too well, and both Melissa and he know why they cannot have an affair. In the end Melissa and Lucas become lovers and Bilitis returns to her school realizing she is not yet ready for adulthood.