Caviar and self-indulgence from a former L.A. Times reporter who discovered--in his early thirties--that the woman who had raised him in North Carolina was not his real mother. Details differ, depending on who's telling the story, but on some things all agree: his biological mother--now a Beverly Hills socialite pseudonymously dubbed ""Ria Dammeron""--was procured by Mrs. Stingley to bear the child she was unable to give her husband. So young James was raised to believe himself a full Stingley; but when Dammeron saw his byline in the paper and braved a meeting to reveal all, Stingley was not too surprised--he had always felt out of place and (curiously) unwanted at home. Stingley adapted so well, in fact, that he lost no time measuring up to this new mother's Beverly Hills standards; in clothes, cars, women, and partying. Trouble appeared in the form of spoiled half-sister Janet, who sensed a usurper and caused a rift between mother and newfound son (though not before we see signs of a temporarily incestuous lull in their relationship). After a couple of years, Stingley confronted his back-home mother to learn which ugly secrets Dammeron got straight, which she exaggerated; finally, he had to accept the fact that discrepancies would never be resolved. Essentially, a passage from the enchanted land of the ultra-rich to being One's Own Man--and not particularly endearing.
Pub Date: June 29, 1981
Page Count: -
Publisher: Congdon & Lattes--dist. by St. Martin's