Lorraine Gerald is 31, works for a collection agency, and is on the rebound from being dumped out of an eight-year, live-in relationship with unfaithful Leo--so she badly needs a vacation. Barbados sounds as good as anyplace else, a little sun to melt off some of her coagulated gloom. Down there she meets Reed Newall, mysterious and funny and ever so handsome. The red flags go up in her--watch out, Lorraine!--but Reed just as quickly gently bends them down. So why does he then just up and leave one day, back to New York? She's poleaxed. Back in the city, she wanders around numb, desperate enough even to patrol the block Reed said he lived on, in hopes of catching sight of him. One day she does see him--and what unfolds is not treachery and toyed-with feelings, but a whole world of human suffering that Reed kindly kept from her during their tropical idyll. Shyer has a jaunty, glance-y way with her material; Lorraine's vulnerability, loneliness, and self-disgust snap smartly onto the page--and if the ending is a mite gooey, it's because the stage has been darkened too abruptly. But every time you think you've read all this angst-among-the-unattached before, Shyer twists the lemon--a superb cityscape, a poignant conversation--and it's a brighter drink than you might have expected.