A first collection of short stories (some from The New Yorker) attractively landscaped, particularly the title novella which takes place in Greece where an impressionable American boy is drawn to the casual hedonism of some young Italians before a life is gratuitously lost. There are two sketches of a pianist and his indulged wife which never go much beyond or below the shiny circumstances of their lives. But where Ms. Stewart is at her affectionate best is in the two pieces dealing with her Russian born grandmother, particularly in ""Acacias"" where she is seen and heard from her first betrayed love to the terminus of old age -- ""so terribly long it becomes impossible to remember."" And then there's ""Sophia, Zoltan and the Postman"" in which Sophia, chewing sunflower seeds and waiting for letters from the feckless Zoltan for 40 years, seems to isolate the precarious and lonely condition of the emigre in Paris. . . . Not important, but the stories are attentively styled and ingratiatingly, immediately in touch.