BENEDICT CANYON by Laura Van Wormer


Email this review


It's steady as she goes in this snappy, sappy novel by Van Wormer (West End, Riverside Drive), who now goes bicoastal and follows a much conflicted New York book editor as she tries to keep her job, untangle her love life, face the recurring nightmare of her mother's suicide, and wring an autobiography out of a difficult Hollywood star. The editor-as-heroine is Kate (""You can take the girl out of Fairfield County but you can't take Fairfield County out of the girl"") Weston, beloved by authors and agents, but barely hanging on to her job at Bennett, Fitzallen & Coe because the house has recently been purchased by a big conglomerate that understands how to market toys but doesn't appreciate good books. When Kate's ordered out to L.A. to get TV queen Lydia Southland to finish her autobiography (a sure-fire bestseller that's intended to save B,F&C), she rises to the occasion, wooing the gorgeous but unforthcoming Lydia; her gay secretary, Noel, a recovering cocaine and alcohol abuser; top writer and former lover Gary; and trusty Mexican housekeeper Gracia. Once Lydia decides she likes Kate, she pitches right in with her personal life, even encouraging Kate's editor friend Mark to wrest Kate away from herlive in beau. But when Lydia's half-sister dies, leaving behind little Alyssa, all bets are off on the autobiography--since little Alyssa is really Lydia's secret daughter by Gary, a fact that the book might bring out. That's bad news for Kate; and, indeed, she gets the hatchet at B,F&C. But so what? She gets Mark and a TV production job in L.A. Lydia gets Gary and Alyssa. And even Noel gets a nice lesbian actress to take home with her at night. A confident commercial endeavor--wise about the TV and book publishing fields, funny and sexy by turns, with an extremely elastic sense of the human heart.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1992
ISBN: 1423359631
Page count: 368pp
Publisher: Crown