Two of the stories in this new Adams collection are quite fine: "By the Sea," which chronicles a teenage waitress' ascent into confidence, with action always succeeding reaction; and "Teresa," in which a poor Mexican woman becomes so woe-filled by the tragedies in her life that eventually she feels perfectly and utterly safe, there being no bad thing that hasn't already happened to her. And one other story is only slightly less striking: in "Legends," a famous sculptor relates her Forties affair with a composer who was then far more famous--but already on the downslide. The other pieces here, however, have no comparable self-contained dramas, trading instead on trendy or wanly emotional situations. In "Lost Luggage," a new widow finds, after a vacation, an involuntary casting-off of memory; in "Snow," a man, his lover, his daughter, and her lover (female) all go cross-country skiing together--during which they all must recognize their inability to fathom other people's lives; and "The Party-Givers"--a couple--turn out to be malevolent people-collectors. In these stories and others like them, civilization of the white-wine/potted-fern variety--leisure, money, vacations--is sketched in, but without digging beneath the surfaces or edging with satire. So, except for those three atypical standouts, this is work in Adams' most familiar vein: static, somewhat smug, and neatly tailored enough to please her regular readership.