Some dozen and a half short stories commune with old age, youth, the "color of truth" and some "fierce small rebellions", and confront the reader with an unwinking observance of characters within their own limits, or a situation. Here are the aging -- as they let go; as the years take away everything; as a detour into the past brings sorrow: the young -- with a boy terrifying his sister, and himself; children waiting out their parents' divorce; a child escaping a smothering shelter; an actress' child and her entertaining but disillusioning sitter. And the in-betweens -- in which a quarrel between a husband and wife ends in a double death; and early romance is shattered by a "phrase of little meaning"; a duel is fought for a gluttonous sister; a husband breaks his chains for a day; a cherished hatred reverses its object; a woman tries to tarnish her sister's new marriage; an aberrant spinster dreams of pregnancy in a tranced happiness; a mother envisions atomic terrors in a cloud; a newborn child's "first face" for its mother. There's a feeling behind the words and action, a sensitive and precise recording. A selective audience here.