Is there such a thing as ""The Wife?"" It's such an over-simplification--and Sarah Cornish is so much more than a wife. To begin with, she's also a newspaperwoman working on a series about how others of her sex live now that the old subsidies--love and work--have become the new priorities. But this story really revolves around Sarah's seemingly equal loves for husband Adam, often away working, and for Zack, a professor, also sent away. Zack gives sarah--rather than his wife--the opportunity to join him in Japan for a year, but it's just then that Adam loses his job and just then that Sarah finds herself pregnant--by still another man. Without any of the embattled assertiveness of comparable Fay Weldon, Burnley's slim debut is an amusing, undeceived precis--gratefully free of contemporary catchwords and written with sufficient intelligence to give it an edge on many in its class.