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A nice soapy title for a nice soapy Krantz: the author's usual up-market labels mixed with a little mother-daughter drama and some heart-wrenching terminal illness. Tessa Kent, born Teresa Horvath, becomes a big-time movie star at age 16, two years after giving birth to a daughter, Maggie, whom Tessa's devoutly Catholic parents bring up as Tessa's little sister. Tessa would tell Maggie the truth about her birth if her parents weren't against it, and she'd do it again, later, if her career weren't so demanding. And yet again later, except that she meets the love of her life, Luke Blake, a billionaire Australian for whom Tessa's virginity is very, very important. (Happily for Tessa, the doctors sewed her back up after delivery: in Judith Krantz, all things are possible.) By the time Luke has finally died and Tessa is ready to spill the beans, Maggie (now 18) has learned the truth on her own and severed all connection to her family. She takes her small savings to Manhattan, rents a room with a motherly lesbian who paints miniature portraits, and goes to work for a prestigious auction house. When Tessa discovers she has an incurable cancer and not long to live, she resolves to win back her daughter's love; to do so, she offers her world-famous collection of jewelry for auction, on the condition that Maggie will spend six months with her, publicizing the sale. As a teenager, Tessa bought her first pearls at Tiffany's, but it was Luke who really taught her the way around a precious stone, buying her huge emeralds, diamonds, and rubies and sometimes covering her body with them while he made love to her. By the close, it's Maggie's own pregnancy that will finally bring the two women together. Not as much of a tear-jerker as one might expect, but with lots of Krantz's signature glamour.

Pub Date: Nov. 25th, 1998
ISBN: 0553561375
Page count: 416pp
Publisher: Crown