A fictional Manhattan lesbian author moves beyond personal insecurity and grief to reach out for happiness, in an interesting but uneven second novel by Martinac (Out of Time, 1990), winner of the 1990 Lambda Literary Award for Best Lesbian Fiction. Teresa Keenan is 35 and has published two moderately successful novels about lesbian life when her beloved mentor and uncle, Jamie Keenan, a gay activist, begins slowly to die of AIDS. Personable Jamie has acted as shy, awkward Teresa's cheerleader, guide, and coach since she was ten and living with her pinched, silent parents in Pittsburgh--that's when Teresa's 12-year-old sister Alison sickened and died of leukemia. Now Jamie's lingering illness brings back memories of that time and makes Teresa acutely aware of her loneliness and feelings of incompletion, which deepen as Jamie's condition gets worse. With the help of Jamie's surviving lover Tom, however, and of Teresa's father (Jamie's brother)--who turns out to possess a surprising compassionate streak--as well as of some Greenwich Village friends, Teresa finds herself able for the first time to write about her losses and to become open to falling in love--with a woman by the optimistic name of Day. Teresa's inadequacy--her uncertainty in normal social situations, her tentativeness and envy of others--can be trying. Still, a mildly engaging and affecting story of gay life.