A dozen interrelated stories--bringing their female narrator from loss of innocence through childbirth and double divorce, with a recurring penchant to return (always unhappily) to old lovers and husbands. Some of these way-stations depend, in Thompson's rendering, on very clichÃ‰d situations and voices: a college-age affair with a professor; the mindless grooviness of early Seventies California. So these sections fall limply into line with their predictabilities. But in ""Mother's Day,"" a tense story about the surprisingly related anxieties involved with rape and motherhood, Thompson's style, hard, side-lighted--works very well. And if the cold, sharp ironies throughout this collection sometimes seem affected, with stories ending too bluntly, Thompson nonetheless comes across as an undeniably talented writer--who should come into her own once she finds material that's fresh and taut enough to suit her tight, bitter delivery.