The time is 1910, the setting is the mining town transformed to steel refining center -- Goodnight. Central in this crowded melodrama is Mary Frances Winthrop, met on page one in the act of burying her husband. At thirty, the upright, red-headed widow is still a dish, but man-shy; her every encounter with the late Winthrop has resulted in pregnancy -- eight miscarriages and their four children to whom she is tigerishly devoted. But the elderly mortician wants her and so does young Evans, the foreman at the steel rolling mill. The mortician connives to become her landlord, while Evans plots via the children to be Mary Frances' next. Everything pumps to a climax on the very night so many expect the world to end as Halley's Comet gasses past. The book is equivalent to a crazy quilt of pieces from another time's bright goods -- Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch, I Remember Mama and (saving the minimal allusions to sex) all those junior novels about Marrying-Off-Our-Mom; it's cheerful, warm' and comforting for girls of all ages.