In Otto's engaging but strangely disjointed second novel, a woman takes stock of her life as she approaches her fortieth birthday and discovers that she's, literally, not all there. Kiki Shaw works as a researcher for a popular TV game show (it's not named, but hint, hint, she has to come up with answers and the contestants have to figure out the questions). Spending her days delving into specific facts for her job, Kiki realizes that she herself is becoming a lot less specific, physically. The truth is that she seems to be vanishing. Kiki's coworkers walk into her office and borrow things from her desk, never noticing her; one day, her cat seems to walk right through her foot. So, is this what middle-age means--disappearing? It's a good question, but, unfortunately, the answers Otto supplies are confusing. Certainly, Kiki's middle-aged friends, Collier and Nora, seem visible enough, and her widowed mother, Gen, is positively flamboyant. These other characters eclipse Kiki, who through most of the novel observes and details the whole, rich, messy lives of the people around her. And, in the end, when we expect Kiki to step out of the shadows once and for all, she veers off in another direction entirely--on a surreal trip to Paris and conversations with a friendly ghost. Träs bizarre. Now you don't see her, and now you never will. Otto's first novel, a bestseller, was titled How to Make An American Quilt (1991), but this is the book that, despite, some wonderful writing, reads like patchwork.