by Kathy with Jane Scovell Levine ‧ RELEASE DATE: Sept. 10, 1997
A lively, outspoken commentary on life as a middle-aged, divorced mini-celebrity who fights fat, the dearth of acceptable men, and mortality. Levine is a successful product-pusher on QVC (the network that pioneered shoparound-the-clock-from-your-couch), her viewers attracted by a straightforward approach to shopping and a ""Jewish-mamma-of-the-'90s"" presentation. The tone here is basically letters-to-my-new-best-friend, revealing all about her latest love affairs (successful and unsuccessful, serendipitous and planned, younger and older); her face-lift (yes, she had one, but it was small and unimportant, only an adjunct to a face peel, and QVC didn't order her to do it), her weight loss (with the help of the once-miraculous, now-controversial diet pill, ""fen-phen""). Now, the reader should understand that Levine doesn't really approve of anti-aging surgery or obsession with weight. But something (a wish for another decade in television?) made her do it. Levine's talent as storyteller and coauthor Scovell's skill as a writer give enough punch to the material to make the manifold ""oy vays"" and other ethnic exclamation points unnecessary. The death of Levine's ex-husband, who had remained a loving friend, gives a sober note to the otherwise energetic tale. But the last chapter, unfortunately, is a plug for QVC. The reader has to be a really big fan to have a clue about the people she lauds or to care about the dress that she wore ten years ago when she helped launch the station. It is to laugh, yes; but, oy vay, it is also to despair of women who give priority to members of the opposite sex as simply romantic objects, to perfect bodies, and to mindless, endless shopping.
Pub Date: Sept. 10, 1997
Page Count: 224
Review Posted Online: N/A
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1997
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