LOVERS AND FRIENDS by Camille Marchetta


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Marchetta's experience as a producer for Dynasty and Falcon Crest would lead one to expect all tinsel and soap from her first novel; but her fiction debut outclasses her tube work by a mile. It's the story of a famous--if destructive--love affair between an American playwright, David Walton, and a British actress, Sarah Cope, told by David's closest friend, Nikki Collier--who's just noticed an unauthorized biography of the celebrated couple that's full of misinterpretations and inaccuracies. So Nikki sets the record straight, since she was there in London in 1970 when David (then married to ex-model Caroline) met Sarah (wed to actor Duncan Powell) during rehearsals for his new play at the Royal Court Theatre. In flashback, we learn that they might have kept the affair under wraps were it not for the fact that Sarah gets pregnant (at the same time Caroline does), which forces David to make a difficult choice. Divorce, remarriage, and a few happy years follow for the two of them, though Sarah gives up her stage career to produce a big happy family for David. Eventually, she succumbs to depression and drugs, David to his own roving eye; so though they love each other desperately, they are a miserable twosome who finally find peace in a double suicide or suicide/murder--no one will ever know for sure. If Marchetta's lovebirds sing a sad song, they do it with fine style and intimacy. Her characters have the jauntiness and gloss of Leigh and Olivier in their good years, and her film and stage milieus are sharply observed. A good show.

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1989
Publisher: Arbor House/Morrow