An upbeat and romantic mastectomy story? Absolutely. Robert Parker is the mystery novelist whose sensitive-macho detective always snaps brassy dialogue, the kind of bright-sexy (and honest) speech he and wife Joan exchange during the Three Weeks of her diagnosis, surgery, and lightning recovery from breast cancer. Their dual flashback dovetails effortlessly, incorporating two sons, many friends, and a chain of plucky recognitions. Joan tapes her college lectures, thinks about the boob jokes friends will no longer share, and--not unappealingly--anticipates applause for her gutsy resilience. "Ace" takes over her college courses, reassures their sons, and parries seductively. She outclasses Betty, Happy, and the doleful woman from Reach for Recovery and he surprises himself with John Wayne phrases ("He was aware that they were trite, but they were there, inside him, and he found that in extremes they were true, and they worked"). The boys (twelve and sixteen) are caring and unperturbed, her friends and students--a new-found sisterhood--are concerned and supportive, and the node tests come back negative. The medicine of choice for post-operatives and a tart tonic for anyone else.