ACTS OF LOVE by Judith Michael


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 The husband-and-wife writing team (A Tangled Web, 1994, etc.) strikes gold again with yet another likely bestseller: an insider's view of the New York theater scene. Lucas Cameron is one of the world's most famous and respected directors: his plays are legendary for their honesty and intensity. Lucas is also a bachelor, although his desperate ex-wife Claudia is determined to keep him a fixture in her life. The only person with whom Lucas shares his fears, hopes, and innermost thoughts, however, is his grandmother, the renowned actress Constance Bernhardt, who raised him after his parents died. Constance loves her ``Luke'' (as he's known) but harbors a secret hope that he will someday fall in love with her soulmate, the younger (Luke's age) and equally renowned actress Jessica Fontaine. When Luke and Jessica meet, however, Luke is still involved with Claudia and no sparks fly; the couple's paths don't cross again until Constance dies years later. When Constance's death comes suddenly in her villa in Italy, Luke heads there and discovers, among other things, his grandmother's cache of letters from Jessica. The correspondence (spanning 30 years) reveals a profound, mutually beneficial relationship between the two actresses; Luke also finds himself transfixed by this woman who was such an important part of his grandmother's life. When he tracks Jessica down, he's disillusioned at first; but as time goes on, both he and Jessica learn why both thought Constance the most insightful woman around. The letter excerpts used throughout--Jessica's to Constance, Constance's to Jessica, then Luke's to Jessica and vice versa--get old about halfway through, seeming less a judicious use of technique than a means of avoiding present-day plotting and dialogue. The love story, though, is a winner. (Radio satellite tour)

Pub Date: March 1st, 1997
ISBN: 0-517-70324-6
Page count: 384pp
Publisher: Crown
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15th, 1997


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