Don't ever give up your memories...it's most of what you'll have."" Memories of a small upstate mill town, Clifton, New York, all main street. Old houses with back porches in ""mongrel colors,"" blistering paint, fading wallpaper. The year (1945) when her brother was reported killed in action; her lovely, petulant sister Sully's marriage--three months pregnant; her mother Frieda, accepting everything with Teutonic stoicism--the erosion of hard work, the isolating distance from her husband, a general practitioner without many patients, puttering around all night in his laboratory; her own hopes, her mother's also, from the time she's a girl, of getting away from ""everyday, ordinary life"" which cribs and confines and destroys. It's all here, in a novel which is unmistakably autobiographical just as all these memories retain the reality they once had. It's a lovely small book, mapping time and hour and place with insistent truth and feeling.