Twenty short stories by a young English writer deal with the world of womanhood from childhood through maturity. Love, marriage, divorce, innocence and the end of it, inversion, life in the women's army units and school provide the themes for stories chiefly about the lower middle class of London and the Midlands. The stylistic techniques vary, but the basic mood--bitterness, grayness and a sort of cocky despair--remains the same. Although the publisher compares these stories to those of Angus Wilson, they lack his wit, polish and wide range. With a little more verve and emotion Miss O'Donovan could qualify as the woman's auxiliary of England's Angry Young Men. On the whole, these sketches are more interesting as clues to the author's further literary development than as finished, completely successful examples of the art of the short story.