In caliber, if not in content, this is comparable to Mme, de Beauvoir's last book, Les Belles Images--three first person, feminine, silky, shrewish, and on occasion shrill confessionals of unhappy women of a certain age. In two out of three, infidelity is once again that particularly parochial French concern and when one woman describes her husband's mistress as "pretty, dashing, bitchy, available," the same could be said of these novellas. In the longest title story, a woman who finds that her two daughters are now self-sufficient, also finds that her husband has moved on--elsewhere. In the short center piece, the fanged hostilities of a consumingly self-indulgent younger woman are applied to all the members of her family then and now. In the Age of Discretion--over sixty--a woman regrets more quietly not only the defection of her son but the reduction of her own life, her inability to love or create as the years narrow the margins. . . . All under glass, the stories reflect rather than extend situations as old as time--and time to a great extent is responsible for the dimming of desire and desirability. They're not important but they're as intimate as a tete-a-tete and read with glistening case.