BORROWED LIVES by Laramie Dunaway


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 A 30-year-old academic takes over her best friend's life in this playful second novel from Dunaway (the paperback Hungry Women, 1990)--a modestly amusing variation on the Cinderella tale. Recently separated from her unremarkable grad-student husband, slaving daily in a library in pursuit of her own master's degree, wholesome Luna Devon has had the bad luck to land the widely published, brilliant, beautiful, sexy Wren Caldwell as her closest friend. Holder of three master's degrees, Wren has already begun to realize her dream of founding her own women's magazine by accepting a job at a trendy southern California periodical--a job offered sight-unseen on the strength of her published work. Wren's plans are cut short, however, when an unstable acquaintance shoots Wren, Luna, her cat and herself with a Smith & Wesson. When Luna wakes up in the hospital to discover that she's the only survivor, she takes a hard look at her boring life and decides that Wren wouldn't mind if she helped herself to hers. Taking Wren's notes and belongings with her, Luna impulsively travels south to accept Wren's job as feature writer for Orange Coast Today. There, she finds herself instantly overwhelmed as she attempts to interview a woman who murdered her husband, accepts a date with the man who bought the movie rights to the story, and begins sparring with Wren's shady- looking husband, who turns up after a two-year prison term and moves into Luna's apartment with his cat, his parrot, his beautiful deaf lover, and his constant, apparently illegal wheeling and dealing. Soon enough, Luna is forced to admit that she lacks Wren's talent for grabbing everything she wants--but, being Luna, she's finally willing enough to settle for taking what she needs. Lightweight fantasy with flashes of wit--more in Luna's league than Wren's.

Pub Date: Nov. 18th, 1992
ISBN: 0-446-51702-X
Page count: 464pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 1992