GLENROSE CALLING by Amanda Wells West


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Slightly confused by the title? Try substituting ""Avon"" for ""Glenrose."" Yes, Glenrose Girls, like Avon Ladies, sell cosmetics and sundries door-to-door, but the impersonal ""corporate behemoth"" behind those homey gals has gotten out of hand, and things are tense at the Glenrose Tower headquarters on Central Park South. Especially when some Glenrose rubber duckies in New Jersey start causing death and disfigurement (lye instead of soap inside). Caught in the ensuing hustle-bustle are idealistic P-R damsel Kate and her writer-friend Chris (""That's me. . . the lover of all the sad-eyed women""), who befriend the interminably plucky octogenarian widow of Glenrose's founder. While the rubber-duck scandal is being resolved (a purely personal psychopathic matter, it seamily turns out), a ruthless finance-whiz is scheming to take over Glenrose, with the aid of a famous lawyer (who regularly has sex with his retarded daughter). And so on: squabbles about sexist discrimination and inner-city Glenrose Girls, subplots about that octogenarian's past loves and her granddaughter's current one (""You and your casual, meaningless freedom with your body""), confrontations about pregnant mistresses and business ethics. There's a modicum of appeal through all this by way of Scruples-style, brand-name detail (clothes, food, wallpaper), but the cardboard cast can't support an overloaded elevator-ful of plots that start and stop at the push of a button--like an FALN terrorist bombing that's tacked on at the end when all the other stories have run out of steam. ""Amanda Wells West is the pen name of two writers"" who have been watching too many TV mini-series. But so have a lot of easy-to-please readers. . . .

Pub Date: June 16th, 1978
Publisher: Doubleday