If I try, now, to set some of this down it is because my life -- as I have known it -- ends within a few days, because I become something new and I want to leave some record of the years, the moments that have brought me to it."" So begins Denise Rogers McLeod, the narrator of At War As Children, as she recounts her childhood and early adulthood with an emphasis on those who were close to her at the time. She was a Navy Junior, living in New London as her father went off to World War II. She and friend Bunker simulate the theatre of war with pins and a map and scream nasty couplets at strangers over the telephone as they receive news that their fathers are missing in action. There's a bout with conscience as she and Bunker swipe penny candy from a local entrepreneur. As a Catholic, she stews over the possible eternal damnation of her Protestant loved ones and rashly baptizes an unconscious apostate. Then, somehow, Denny takes us up to early adulthood, as she and her Group pursue careers, lunch at the Yale Club and meet after at the Museum of Modern Art, where they chew over their childhood...It's all rather sensitive, but Miss Reed's patches don't quite make a quilt or even one full-formed characterization.