More thorny domestic dilemmas by the tsarina of family troubles (A World Full of Strangers, Illusions of Love, etc.) as a marriage of two decent people is soured and doomed, and the break nearly destroys their teen-age daughter. Ann Pollock and Philip Coulter wed in 1941 in San Francisco, just before Philip goes off for WW II. He spends the war as a Japanese prisoner (one chapter gives an atrocity-by-atrocity account), and Ann moves in with Philip's parents; then, miraculously, Philip comes home after the war--no longer confident and handsome. Years of psychological and physical brutality have left their mark, and also Philip's inherent vulnerability is exploited by a supposed ""chum,"" dooming Philip to a career as a humble law clerk. But Ann (who's not always bitten her tongue when hinting that Philip's a failure) is on a roll as a real-estate agent, and on a trip to New York there's lawyer/real-estate speculator Adam Gayne: ""She took in his handsome features, the thick wavy black hair with just a hint of silver. . .and the riveting black eyes."" It's just a matter of time--in spite of Ann's conscience-struck postponements--before Ann's thrilled noggin and Adam's thick black wavy locks are sharing a pillow at the Plaza. In the meantime in San Francisco, Philip has had enough, and strides out on the town to find. . .Linda. The solution seems obvious to all but Erie, the Coulters' teen-age daughter. Evie's terrible abortion accident and crack-up bring both parents to her side while Linda and Adam stand by, patiently--at first. But somehow Philip and Ann seem glued together for Evie's sake. Then Philip has his stroke. . . For the substantial Freeman readership--another tussle with spouses and lovers (and here a shattered kid) grueling on. As ever, earnest and open-faced.