Born into a Seventh-Day Adventist family which was poor for the good reason that they expected the world to end, with a grandmother who ""believed in heaven as she believed in Chicago"" and a father who lost his gay charm when he saw the light, the author went to Los Angeles at twenty, worked as a waitress and teacher to earn her education. She became a lawyer, the first woman Deputy District Attorney in California, and the wife of her employer, with whom she practised for some thirty years, having three children along the way. Now retired and living on the ranch where paying guests such as J. B. Priestley and Groucho Marx have stayed (Groucho was more fun), she turns her ""keen sense of rumor"" to account with stories of people she has known, and her equally keen sense of authority speaks out in remarks on juvenile delinquency, the encroachment of the government on private lives (you can't build adobe houses any more and the tyranny of the permit runs rampant in other ways). Aging and the loss of authority she finds sad, but battles on in spirited style, even encompassing the loss of husband and her promising first son at twenty four. An honest tackling of life in all its years.