This is most directly comparable to Lynne Reid Banks' convincing, indirectly emancipated, soap-and-water softeners. It begins unsuspectingly, unobtrusively, when Hannah Straight, a guidance counselor, rents a house for a summer in a French village with her two children and a student, Molly, she has helped to have an abortion. It is the first time that Hannah's been separated from her husband Philip whom she's never doubted (she should have) while performing obeisantly as wife and mother. Now alone, she detaches and distances herself from her regularized past in London; she also falls in love with the younger, free-floating Marc who hasn't a moral scruple in his sensuous body. It's Hannah who pays and pays: her son Harry has a fatal accident; she contracts not only VD (via Marc-via Molly) but becomes pregnant; and she goes home to be left with all her own decisions. This liberation is imposed on her rather negatively, in reverse, but it will hook the sympathetic curiosity of other lower-case sisters under the skin.