Goodwin's agreeable if unexceptional romances have been staged at various periods--Lovers (1989) in the 1860's; Daughters (1988) and Floodtide (1987) in the early 20th century. Here, in perhaps her most successful, she separates and joins her pairs of lovers in post-WW II England, where a pack of Shakespearean actors lends some dash and color to the problems of a brother and a sister and those they attract. Lisa Whitfield and brother Charles have settled, without a bean, in their hometown of Stratford-on-Avon, having returned from the Far East, where they had served during the war. Charles, a gambler and womanizer, hates their humble digs (eventually, there'll be money); he will seduce and marry Jenny, the 17-year-old daughter of Guy (a friend of the Whitfields' deceased father), who's predictably in a towering, punishing fury. Meanwhile, Lisa, working at a local antique shop, renews acquaintance with jolly Polly, a neophyte actress with the Stratford company, and has an affair with Peter, the oddly secretive reporter she likes but cannot love. Charles, at the same time, is smitten by the love of his life--the gorgeous actress Gemma--who turns out to be the wife of Tom Westbury, who'd sworn to Lisa in Burma that he and Lisa would be faithful forever.... Messes all around--with more to come- -but all's well that ends well. An okay romance made attractive by Goodwin's lingering over the milieu--and by that stagy, arch chat (``He was a little puffing man like a train, she was all vague draperies''). A long, mindless read for Anglophiles.