Margot Mifflin
March 13, 1998 AT 05:00 AM EST

A middle-aged copy editor struggles with his ex-wife’s newfound independence; a 52-year-old virgin pursues new experiences after the death of her famous mother; a teen searches for her missing sister; and in the title story, a 60-year-old woman covertly delivers her dead lover to his wife’s door after a late-night tryst (”I have given love freely and sometimes God cuts me a little slack,” she says with relief). Herb’s Pajamas are the delicately wrought stories filled with tangy dialogue and moments of heart-piercing poignancy. Although they meander, Thomas brings them back to a threshold of luminous clarity. B+

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