Carol White has a keen eye, a satiric twist of mind, and a gift for one-liners. So she surrounds her heroine Charlotte Border--a level-headed, 27-year-old Chicago widow--with some funny folks including a flaky room-mate given to Transactional Analysis who attempts suicide by an overdose of kelp tablets, and a jazzy, exwaitress mom at Florida poolside with her one-legged husband and secretly writing a musical set in Cuba (featuring ""the sugar harvest production number which calls for forty-six burros and a chorus of a hundred dancing threshers""). Thus, the reader can yuk it up a bit between Charlotte's perfunctory trips to bed with one or another nonentity and her relentlessly witty (and long) dialogues with bosompal Lane. Flying to the aid of people in distress (such as that mournful roommate), Charlotte proves herself a nice person while Lane, jumping into bed with Charlotte's lukewarm lover, proves herself a bitch and (what else?) the proverbial female betraying her ""best friend."" Unfortunately, one-liners--even by the dozen--don't add up to a novel; and neither do trendy stereotypes.