In the initial story here, a carpenter goes from house to house hoping to find some affirmation of domestic serenity which always proves to be a mirage. This is the key to Miss Warner's talented first collection of short stories which deal almost uniformly with emotionally insolvent people, usually young, and to a great degree the victims of their parents default--family liens and ""blood ties"" cut off at the source. Thus the girl who finally finds that death is the ""cessation of an absence"" of her ""Insubstantial Father""; or the evasion in ""Every Girl Has a Mother Somewhere""; then again there's the demanding, disapproving mother (without a husband) in ""The Expectancy of My Survival"" and its companion piece; while ""A Born Homemaker,"" a yearbook prediction, takes another fatherless youngster through sexual experiences with a gardener, a faggot publisher, and lots of epicene boys all ""sordid to the bone."" Two stories carry the dangerous disequilibrium still further--the affecting piece on a young man in a mental hospital and the equally good one on ""Melissa Savage"" whose youngster doesn't know she's his mother--she's been put away so much. . . . Lovelessness, loneliness, and other empty spaces are all reflected and revealed in Mirrors with particular instaneity.