LADIES IN WAITING by Gwen Davis
Kirkus Star

LADIES IN WAITING

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Nobody saw the real tragedy of America--that it was the women, those who had promised to stand by their men, who gave."" Especially the women of Washington, D.C., in this trashy but nastily lively, post-Watergate scandal-athon. There's beautiful novelist Chris, married to a decent, loving, unemployed PR man (a Watergate casualty) but secretly lusting for a handsome, married journalist; the journalist turns out to be a dud in bed, however (at a Howard Johnson's motel), and Chris rediscovers hubby just in time to grab him back from the luscious PR gal who's helping him with his first job since Watergate. There's busty, black Melissa Mae, chic mistress to a cultivated Japanese businessman who commits suicide after being exposed as a briber of congressmen (Melissa Mae nearly follows him down the hara-kiri road). And most loyal of all is aristocratic Abigail, wife of White House aide Larry Cochran, ""the one man in Washington who loves his wife as much as power""; but Abigail nearly wrecks Larry's career by accepting money for her help in arranging an exhibit of Sri Lankan (Ceylonese) art, thus inviting accusations of influence-peddling. Far more tragic than these clinging ladies, however, are the unattached females: lonely, promiscuous movie star Gloria (who's going to star in Chris' play at the Kennedy Center), vicious newshound Charlotte (a Sally Quinn type out to smear noble Larry), and poor Megan--unemployed press secretary from the Ford administration, hopelessly in love with upright Larry. All these folks know each other, so the plots interconnect--at cocktail parties, in powder rooms--and there's even a (not entirely intentionally) hilarious scene when almost the entire cast shows up, in couples, coincidentally, for lunch at Sans Souci. A pinch of porn, a dollop here and there of downright awful prose--but mostly it's good dirty fun, with brisk, no-nonsense pacing and bitchy repartee galore.

Pub Date: May 7th, 1979
Publisher: Macmillan