THE GENTLE FRAUD by Katherine Roy


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Julia Gilman is 47, the third generation of a famous acting family, but now fading, drinking more than she should, wincing before certain inevitable adjectives- ""indestructible"", and estranged from her husband, Bruce, in Hollywood. Harriet Baxter, 38, an old acquaintance from Montreal, married to a rich, civic, but dull husband, has always admired and envied her. Both are rather discontented, with their lives rather than themselves, and when they meet for lunch in New York, they go for a consultation with a Mr. Reily who enables them- at a price- to exchange existences (whtout recognition) for a period of three days. As Harriet, Julia learns of Bruce's continuing love for her- and desire to help her in a new play; she is also aware of the fact that Harriet's husband is dangerously slipping; and as Julia, Harriet helps to dispose of Julia's lover and secure an angel for the new production. Both however hear some disconcerting truths about themselves- and return to their own identities in a less complacent and more pliable frame of mind... A feathery, feminine diversion which is handled with grace and a number of fashionable touches here and there.

Publisher: Harcourt, Brace