A life-changing vacation on the French Riviera.
As they have for decades, three couples gather on New Year’s Eve in New York for a private celebration: Anne and Robert Smith, Pascal and John Donnally, Diana and Eric Morrison. All are well-groomed and well-behaved, happy in decades-old traditional marriages. No indecorous striving for these wives: they work for charity, or on behalf of battered women. Pascal is French, an ex-ballerina who still longs for the child she will never have (brusque businessman husband John has always refused to consider adoption). Diane is the perfect doctor’s wife, and handsome ob/gyn Eric is the perfect doctor (though she doesn’t know he’s having an affair). The group plans to rent a villa in St. Tropez for a sun-kissed holiday—until Anne has a heart attack and dies. (The arrangements are made by a “prestigious funeral parlor that had taken care of New Yorkers for years, even some as illustrious as Judy Garland.”) Robert is grief-stricken, adrift on the empty sea of life, until he starts keeping company with a 30-year-old movie star, glamorous Gwen. Aghast, the other women make plans to save him from her youthful clutches by spiriting him away to the south of France. Alas, the villa is barely habitable and the comically pudgy live-in maid wears short-shorts and stiletto heels—and just will not dust. What to do? They might even have to rent a yacht. Then Gwen shows up and makes friends with one and all. She isn’t movie-starish in the least! She even blames herself for her philandering husband’s suicide. She also saves John, who likes to smoke cigars and chomp blood sausage at the same time, from choking (detailed description of the Heimlich maneuver is provided). To her utter delight, Pascal becomes pregnant. Eric gives up his ladylove and once more vows to be faithful to darling Diana.
Fatuous to a fault, sure to sell in the millions.