The ties that bind What makes us family? What gives us identity? Most of us don't have to ponder these questions, but for the main characters in Rosellen Brown's Half a Heart, they are necessary and difficult. Miriam has lived a life of privileged comfort as wife and mother in a swank part of Houston. Now, 17 years after she gave up her first child to the militant black professor with whom she had a passionate love affair, she desperately wants to see that daughter and somehow make up for all that lost time and lost love. She finds Ronnee, 18, on her way to college. As they face each other, they face some very heavy problems and, ultimately, their own elusive feelings about truth and belonging. Weighty circumstances and weighty problems, but a totally moving and involving story, performed with strength and subtlety by Jayne Atkinson and LisaGay Hamilton.

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