The center for troubled teens in this case-history-like fiction is based closely on a real one where--the author tells us in an epilogue--she began to hang out with an eye to this book while her son was a ""client."" (Patient? Inmate?) Here, young David enters sullenly, determined not to stay and never to break down and cry in a group session, as many do; but after some ups and downs and some public tears he graduates a year later, so changed his younger sister calls him ""so straight it's revolting"" (she has a point) and just as determined never again to get high or to associate with anyone who does. Early on, a bigwig at the center refers to a ""profile child"" and it's that profile that Meyer seems to be following. She draws a profile family as well, unnecessarily belaboring the positions of all concerned and unprofitably going over the same ground from a number of different viewpoints, but only skirting the homosexual relationship of the past that seems to account for much of David's early anguish. The real subject is what the center can do for a kid--as an earnest case worker might describe it.