From the author of Princess in Amber (1985), No Enemy but Time (1983), etc., the story of a widow's hard fought, if predictable, regeneration, laced with a little court drama--as Mayerson's bereaved heroine serves as a juror in the state of Vermont's case against a blithe teen-age girl accused of murdering her mom. Mayerson does a bang-up, funny job of portraying Maggie Hatch's disorientation when her sports-loving orthopedist husband, Alan, dies on the tennis court of a cerebral aneurysm. After she wallows for four months, events overtake her: her 17-year-old daughter, Kristen, summarily drops out of Smith and shows up with a new beau, skinny Rudy, intent on getting the disabled MG in the garage to work; a horrendously oily widower asks her for a date, and she accepts; prissy mother-in-law Letitia informs Maggie that she must sell the house to pay back the $30,000 Alan borrowed from her; Maggie's self-centered mother from Manhattan appears on her doorstep to help, revealing that she has a serious heart condition; and Maggie's summoned to court to determine whether 15-year-old Melody Bean poisoned her mother voluntarily--or under the coercion of her Heavy Metal-headed boyfriend. It's the court case that saves Maggie, largely by introducing her to fellow juror Amos Springer, whom the town of Bennington loves to hate because he spent ten years in Canada as a Vietnam draft dodger. In the end, Maggie gets it together, as evidenced by the fact that she has the gumption to help convict little Melody, bear up under her mother's death, and recognize that Amos isn't ready to commit. Mayerson demonstrates her way with quick, eccentric characterization as she describes the members of the jury, but in emotional terms stacks the deck too heavily in Maggie's favor. In fact, if this book were cards, Mayerson would be thrown out of the game.