A second generation American takes a personal and thoughtful look at her childhood as a touchstone for recall of the 47 million who share her situation. Her father was a Jewish immigrant from the old world, a successful bachelor and doctor in Chicago when he met her mother at a dance and determined to marry her. The author's childhood was colored with puzzlement over what it meant to be Jewish when both parents had variously thrown off the common tradition and yet felt bound by it. This anomaly first came home to her when she embarrassed everyone by winning the first prize in catechism at a Roman Catholic school, from which she was promptly withdrawn. The strata of social feeling in middle-class mid-western life between World War I and World War II as the author and her parents made their ways through life, are explored with the validity of individual experience, but not necessarily beyond it. Pleasant, serious minded, with a recognition value for some readers.