A collection of stories in which Kornblatt accurately describes some of the contemporary sadnesses of divorce and ill-fitting families--connections that have been newly yanked from their sockets--but never expands observation into real drama or illumination. A divorced woman's 15-year-old daughter runs away to her grandmother in Boston--to the mother-in-law whom this woman has never liked but has always understood all too well. An eldest daughter, a ""cold child,"" coolly dissects her own emotion: the betrayal of feeling brought on by the arrival of a new baby sister. An unhappy wife finds a little welcome command in her husband--three years' worth--and consciously uses it up until the marriage expires. All this is rendered (especially in the title novella) in fashionably short paragraphs and frequently in the present tense--a style which gives Kornblatt's approach something of the air of a series of bulletins: perceptive flashes from a promising writer, but without the deeper development needed for fully satisfying short fiction.