"Regret can wash over you like water over a stone. Regret can just wear you away." So begins a second novel from Kupfer (Surviving the Seasons, 1987)--a plain brown-paper parcel of a book that opens to reveal honest insights and simple pleasures. Here, Sharon Burke--wife of a midwestern university physicist, mother of a funny little girl named Libby--examines her lot, including her friendships, marriage, past, and hopes for the future. Lately, the last is looking rather flat to Sharon, though her best friend, Barbara, shakes things up by announcing that she's leaving her husband to live with a new man in San Francisco. Thus begins an hegira, with Sharon and Libby accompanying Barbara and her two daughters on a car trip cross-country, past countless gas stations, trailer courts, and "Adventurelands" (which the kids can never stand to pass up). Meanwhile, Sharon embarks upon a spiritual journey, remembering her childhood disappointments, her romance with husband Jesse, her tragic loss of a baby to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, and wondering if there isn't more to life. But by the time she finally reaches California (and checks in with an old boyfriend), it's as if she's gone as far as she can go--leading her to realize that what she's got will, at least, do. Reading Kupfer is like overhearing a wise, reflective woman chatting with herself. There are no new, deeper dramas here, but her touching rehearsal of the familiar should make women readers smile and nod their heads.