Admirers of Stirling's The Penny Wedding (1995), a companionable story of loves and marriages in a struggling 1930s Glasgow family, will find this sequel even more persistently involving. Here, four love affairs marooned on the jagged rocks of circumstance and obsession eventually sail into happy marital harbors. Alison Burnside, previously rescued by one-armed teacher Jim Abbott from a dreary life keeping house for her father and four brothers, is now in her first year of medical school. Among her university ``team'' is the dirt-poor but charming Irishman Declan Slater, who attracts to his cold-water digs not only the handsome Roberta, daughter of a famous surgeon, but Alison, who's starved for the exciting physical attention fiancÇ Jim seems too repressed to give. Alison will also be confused by her passing attraction to the elegant Howard, another teammate, and Roberta will consider without enthusiasm the prospect of marriage with stuffy Guy. But soon Roberta is forced to give up a medical career--and maybe her reputation as well. And what of Alison's brothers? Jack's blowzy wife Brenda, the mother of twins, is stirred by an old flame; and Henry, married to German Trudi, is sent by his newspaper to Hitler's Germany and discovers some shocking truths about Trudi and an emerging terror he couldn't have imagined. What will become of his marriage? At the last, Alison and Jim--for a time a patient in a TB hospital--shake out true feelings from a leaf-cover of misunderstandings and pretense. Like Stirling's dramas set in earlier eras, this is lively with bright dialogue and an easy pace, allowing plenty of room for commentary and romance. A gossip-gala of considerable charm.