INTIMATE by Elizabeth Gage


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 Another same-old soaper as a triumvirate of beautiful people make their beds and lie in them, often with each other. Gage (Taboo, 1993, etc.) seems possessed by both Sidney Sheldon and John Bradshaw. Bad parents produce flawed children who, in turn, hurt all the people they love. There are no bad girls, only victims of early sexual abuse. And the hero and heroine--after chapters of rape, murder, blackmail, and betrayal--don't ride off into the sunset. Instead, they settle down and become a nuclear family, with Dad in his easy chair and Mother supervising the baking of gingerbread. The hero, Jordan Lazarus, is a dirt-poor boy with a loving sister who grows up to be one of the five richest men in the world. His true love, Leslie Chamberlain, is a poor girl with a loving father. Jordan's jealous first wife, Barbara, threatens to kill Leslie's son if she doesn't renounce Jordan. Meanwhile, Jordan buries himself in his work and invents a system to eliminate all the inner-city slums in America. Leslie marries an older man and nurses him through multiple strokes while running his advertising business and cooking his dinner. Jill Fleming grows up poor and horribly battered. She makes her way in the world by giving people what they want, usually in bed. When she marries wealthy Jordan, though, she makes the mistake of falling in love with him. The bad girls are great manipulators, and they have all the fun. Jill gets to put on disguises and seduce everyone. Barbara has thugs pour acid over the face of Jordan's screaming one-night stand and tries to force Jill to kill her baby girl. To save her daughter, Jill goes back to her childhood home, where she was beaten, penetrated, and tortured, puts on one last wig, and shoots herself in the head. The lessons of this book are, one, nurture your children; and, two, women who break the corporate glass ceiling will never have any fun at all.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1995
ISBN: 0-671-89706-3
Page count: 512pp
Publisher: Pocket
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 1995


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