Yet another southern gothic twister from Siddons--though this time the author edges into the emotionally honest territory of, say, a Gail Godwin, right up until the very end, when she slams the melodramatic gas pedal to the floor. But things start out reasonably and interestingly enough, with middle-aged Kate Lee, a recent cancer patient who feels sure the little cancer ``Pac-Men'' are gobbling her again. Her husband, Alan, forces her to accept an invitation from an old sorority sister, Ginger Fowler, who stole Kate's true love, architecture student Paul Sibley, from her 28 years ago. Also to be present at the reunion on the North Carolina coast are Cecie Hart, Kate's once-closest friend (from whom she hasn't heard a word since graduation), and Georgina--a.k.a. Fig--Newton, a weird little cookie who had a hopeless crush on Kate back at Randolph University in Alabama. Kate plans to commit suicide right after the visit, but once the friends see each other again, things get complicated. She and Cecie bond once more; Ginger's hit the bottle, realizing that Paul married her only for her dough; and Fig's become a bestselling romance writer. To make matters worse, Paul arrives, begging Kate to come back to him. And she almost does, until he shows his true skunkish stripes--which would leave Kate resolved to live and return to Alan, were it not for Fig, who's decided to get her revenge for the way she disdained her all through college.... Siddons fans will be enthralled; indeed, this is a much more emotionally gripping novel than her last, King's Oak. But it won't woo readers who want to see the characters they've been following settle their problems without wild effects and plot tricks.