An earnest bit of dither about sixty-nine-year-old Manhattan writer Jessica, who is recovering nicely from the death of her husband but is cruelly vulnerable to the icy rejection of her daughter Molly. Molly is married to mysteriously wealthy George--the stolid opposite of her intellectual parents. When Jessica moves to an old family house in 1960s Philadelphia, however, a wail for help from Molly brings her mother running, and Molly is whisked to Philadelphia, having left George for what she says were unnatural sex activities and financial desertion. But as house guest, Molly is as unpleasant as ever, and it becomes obvious that she is coiling to strike. The climax of sullen snarling days comes about when, in full view of Mother and elderly Quaker cousin Harriet (the queen-pin of local peace/civil rights protest activity), Molly commits sex on the back seat of Jessica's swerving automobile. Once Molly is back with a depleted George, Jessica ponders the Mom-Daughter past (lovers, abortions) and her responsibility, but a coming-to-grips with her own eroticism frees Jessica from guilt. The author's air of urgent importance pushes through some foggy neo-Freudian speculation so that the casual reader--diverted by the Main Line matrons throwing themselves into good works and bad tempers--may not bother to wonder how such vapid characters could stir up such a fuss.