CURRENT AFFAIRS by Barbara Raskin


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Another conga line through the power corridors of Washington, D.C., led by the sort that yuppyette Raskin readers will recognize from Hot Flashes (1987) and Out of Order (1979). Natalie Karavan Myers is a 60's leftover running a homeless shelter in the distressed Adams-Morgan section of Washington, wife of slouchy, sexy journalist Eli and, above all, obsessively jealous sister of superstar free-lance writer Shay Karavan. In addition to having slept with Eli before his marriage to Nat, Shay has tested the sexual mettle of Qaddafi and Castro; brought back the ashes of an MIA from Vietnam; and become both mother and, at about age 40, smashingly attractive grandmother (while Nat remains sorrowfully childless, due to a botched abortion arranged by Shay). As incessantly whiny Nat puts it: ""I am a person; she is a personality."" Nonetheless, Shay never fails to land on Nat's doorstep bringing trouble--in this case it's a stolen transcript linking Fawn Hall (and thus Ollie North and President Reagan) with Nicaraguan drug-lords. And, thanks to Shay, Nat becomes the mistress of the hot material, not to mention a target for the scuzzy coke-kingpins. A quick trip to Long Island, an Elizabeth Arden makeover, and a re-outfitting (bankrolled by Shay's multimillionaire beau) ensue--while Nat contemplates the charms of the cop assigned to protect her and decides to scoop Shay by leaking the transcript to the press. This silly, shaft-tongued novel rides for a while on Nat's sad-sackish venom, but soon runs out of gas to reveal a nonsensical plot and a hypocritical heroine, who has time to get a haircut (and experiment with amyl-nitrate-enhanced sex) while evading the Nicaraguan drug cartel.

Pub Date: Aug. 22nd, 1990
Publisher: Random House