"So, where are you from?" is a question I always dread. The answer says so much about you: sophisticated or domesticated, hip or hick. I hem and haw, then answer: I was born in San Francisco, and when my mother married my stepfather, they decided the big bad city was no place to raise us girls. My sister Verity (then 10) and I (12), like many city kids, knew the maitre d's at our favorite restaurants by name but had no neighborhood kids to play with. So, we headed for the heartland: Galena, Illinois. I pictured Little House on the Prairie; my new classmates thought I knew the Village People. But gradually, I became a Midwesterner. Then, in 1985, when I started college—Grinnell, in Iowa—my parents moved east to Bucks County, Pennsylvania, just over an hour from Manhattan.