More meandering British soap-opera-with-a-few-sharp-edges from the author of The Girls (1967); only now the girls have grown up, gotten husbands, and found new anxieties. Prim Alex Twentyman is totally thrown when husband Harry simply doesn't return from a business trip -- he is leaving her and the kids to set up house with his less domestically demanding, more loose and adventurous secretary-assisant. And when Alex then has to put her kids in a far less cushy school, she meets three other mothers more or less on their own: sensual widow Carla, who has lately begun dispensing oral sex at a massage parlor; fat, sloppy feminist Lorna, whose suave husband is hardly ever on the premises; and pinched, frigid, impoverished Fay (""I like men, you know, but not sex. I think it's disgusting, horrible""). True, there are eventually some turning points here -- Alex relaxes enough to ease into an affair with an infertile Israeli professor (and has one last bed fling with Harry, hoping to get pregnant); Carla must decide whether to give up the oldest profession for a sweet young American; and Fay discovers the Big O . . . with Lorna's husband. But it's all quite formless and arbitrary, occasionally verging on comedy, more often sliding into clichâ€š -- so soap-opera lovers will probably find it too quirky, while more sophisticated readers will be disappointed by its predictabilities. Flimsy.