MIRRORED LIFE by Anita Bunkley

MIRRORED LIFE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Hairdresser with a guilty secret, from Bunkley (Balancing Act, 1997, etc.).

Motherless Sara Jane Talbot is afraid of her remote and often angry father, who lets her fend for herself as the lonely years go by. Then she starts hangin’ with bad girl Joyce Ann Keller. Joyce is a tough bitch who don’t take no shit from nobody and loves bossing meek little Sara around. Tossed out of a Dairy Queen for smoking, Joyce robs the place—and Sara drives the getaway car. Both end up in jail, but Sara gets out first. Thus begins Joyce’s evil obsession with Sara, who has the good sense to change her name to Serena St. James and move to Dallas, where she takes a job with a famous Italian stylist. Turns out Serena has a natural gift for hairdressing (not to mention her own amazing herbal soap, the formula provided by Seminole Indians). She gets a lucky break: world-famous R&B diva Diane Devreux wants a makeover to revive her flagging career now that she’s in her 40s. Not even her young bodyguard and lover Craig can put roses in her cheeks these days—but Serena can. Credited with Diane’s dazzling new look, Serena enjoys a modicum of fame herself, thus exciting the jealousy and greed of Joyce, out of jail and looking for easy money. Blackmail? Serena wants nobody to know she once did time. When Diane dies and Serena marries Craig, who’s making a fortune in the limo business, Joyce figures stealing from Serena’s accounts is even easier. Identity theft proves to be a breeze—and her insidious command over Serena’s life grows and grows. A showdown ensues: shot twice, crawling through the mud, Serena struggles to draw breath as the villainess plunges into a pit of razor-sharp plants. Other than that? Happy endings for all.

Carefully contrived melodrama unravels into utterly implausible dénouement.

Pub Date: Nov. 5th, 2002
ISBN: 0-7582-0077-3
Page count: 336pp
Publisher: Dafina/Kensington
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 2002