An old-fashioned, tongue-in-cheek domestic fable: a country mouse marries into the wicked, complicated world of the Big Apple. Plucked from her homespun Indiana life as a doctor's assistant, incurably good-hearted Jenny Burns keeps getting urged (mainly by her patronizing hotshot advertising exec husband Larry) to grow a shell that'll resist the threats of muggers, con men, and the homeless. But Jenny doesn't even have to go outside her East Side brownstone for her biggest challenges. How many times can she defy Larry by helping Jerry and Robert, the gay couple downstairs, look for their lost cat? What can she do about upstairs neighbor Barry Stem's fears that his impressionable son Teddy might be spending too much time with Jerry and Robert--or that Barry's own business failures might leave him with nothing left to live for? How far should she go to cover up the suspected adulteries of Godfrey Richardson (whose banker wife Terry has become Larry's target for a make-or-break business loan) or Myrna Davis (who wants Jenny to take delivery on what turns out to be a sable coat from a top-secret admirer)? And what will she do when she's confronted with evidence of Larry's final perfidy? Without pausing in her round of meatloaf and succotash dinners, the little woman bursts out of her shell into what looks like the early 1970's. Though such a conspicuously virtuous heroine is something of a stretch for Adler (The Witch of Watergate, p. 748; Senator Love, etc. etc.), he almost persuades you that Jenny isn't just an anachronism or a nitwit. Still, this entertaining parable is thinner than one of Jenny's yummy pastry crusts.