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Women who have achieved grandmotherly status will appreciate this engaging, honest volume of essays by 26 writers who articulate shared emotions about their grandchildren. All describe a new form of love different from the love they felt for their own children. Editor Graham (Women Who Run with the Poodles) calls it " a besotted state." For some contributors, grandmotherhood is a promise of genetic continuity, while others value the freedom to play and indulge. Many essays may be sentimental, but they're also insightful and candid, sometimes painfully so. Notably, one pseudonymous writer lashes out at her cruelly withholding daughter-in-law; another describes raising her mentally disturbed daughter's unstable son. Perhaps most disturbingly, Sallie Tisdale portrays a dire situation created by her financially irresponsible adopted son and his girlfriend, who keep producing more children. Yet humor abounds. In an irreverent piece, Abigail Thomas writes of fleeing a clan reunion by scheduling an appointment with her gynecologist. Judith Viorst confronts the taboo topic of jockeying for love with the other set of grandparents. All learn the lesson best expressed by Anne Roiphe: "Seal your lips." (Apr.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.