Seventy-one-year-old Alice (or ""Garmie"") is not one of your blue-rinse St. Pete swingers but an old Maine hand now summering on an island, where she resurrects her happy childhood and dewy youth and preaches vast interior sermons about Love and all things bright and beautiful. A widow, Alice views her large increasing tribe with pride and pours soothing syrup on their occasionally troubled waters. A daughter-in-law feels her husband does not appreciate her painting; a daughter is harassing a nervous black student with heavy family attention; and--is one granddaughter too close to Garmie and drifting away from her mother? Putting aside memories of first love, unwelcome kisses from a playboy doctor (""As soon as I brush my teeth, I'll be alright""), and idyllic home scenes with her grandparents, Alice straightens out the family, enjoys a clambake, and, after a lengthy meditation on the beach, once alone again, she is approached by a widower who'd like her address. Barnacled with sentiment but seaworthy for Carroll's seasoned following.