James Whitfield Ellison, whose first oats were greener -- Owen Harrison Harding -- has written another short novel whose title will suggest Herman Raucher along with its central young-man-older-woman situation. John Packard, novelist to be published (the work is accepted during this season), comes back from Vietnam with expectably rancorous feelings as well as the bone of the finger of the friend who died there. He falls in love with Susan, 40, with two daughters one of whom will give him another bad time. He spends a couple of weeks at Breadloaf, exchanging ideas and lots of liquor with others and there's a randy episode with a woman given to most indelicate body language. He comes back to Susan and tries but fails to marry her. . . . The summer's over -- the book is over -- perishably one and the same thing.