Sasha Greenberg Flynn, already the mother of two, discovers that she's pregnant again at age 40. And another baby seems inopportune (at best) just now: Sasha has just recently returned to her microbiology lab job, part-time, while her Soho painter-husband Hatch is finally beginning to get some time and reward for his art. Still, Sasha can't abort: it simply goes against her feelings. So this novel follows the nine months of terrible recriminations and husband-and-wife tension that ensue. Hatch, a good man at base, finds the prospect of an infant abundantly depressing. Through the pregnancy test, the amniocentesis, and a carrying-big labor, he holds back. And all this leads Sasha to muse: ""How did their kids become like guest towels, two Ours and a Hers?. . . How did she become the unwed mother in their marriage?"" Finally, however, after the detailed Sasha-Hatch estrangement--which, though utterly credible, does eventually begin to drag--the baby is born. . . and all the fears of an older mother are realized: Dylan (as the boy is named) does fine for a few weeks but then develops a rare meningitis which makes him gravely ill. Thus, Conley (Soho Madonna), with a melodramatic but effective stroke, exposes all that's gone before as a narrow and meaningless forethought: the real drama--and meaning--of bringing a life into being (and keeping it there) begins only now. And though this sudden shifting doesn't make for a particularly well-balanced novel, it does result in an interestingly colored one: modern humor and marital mores abruptly followed by ancient, rending worry--an edgy but mostly engaging combination.