Ella Sagersdorf, who may be one of the nicest characters to spring from the Jewish-mama barrel, is doing nicely, thank you, in a retirement condominium in Miami Beach. She has raised her children, been widowed, bleached her hair, and held on to her admirable earthiness and humor for almost 50 adult years. She's even in love with a nice man--Hy (Chip) Lowe, from Walla Walla--and everything's going swimmingly by the pool until the tsuris hits the fan: her two equally nauseating children, one prince, one princess, both grown, both fleeing marital difficulty, descend on her doorstep so mamma can fix. Nothing was ever left in such capable hands, and Ella wades through an alien world of women's groups, nudism, Shiatsu massage, and the hallowed halls of a university, where she creates and then impersonates a memorable intellectual phoney she calls ""Sybil Churchill"" in order to get her son a teaching job. This is touching and funny, and poignant and clever, and so is Ella, bless her. Literary agent Markson obviously knows the market--better yet, she knows and loves these haimische people.