WEST END by Laura Van Wormer


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The continued potboiling adventures of Alexandra Waring, the driven TV newswoman first introduced in Van Wormer's Riverside Drive (1988). Alexandra, as our story begins, is toiling away on assignment for one of the major networks when she is shot and seriously wounded during an assassination attempt on a congressman she's interviewing. She thus very quickly turns into America's sweetheart and is lured away to become anchorwoman for southern tycoon Jackson Darenbrook (read: Ted Turner) and his new DBS television network, which is centered in a huge complex on Manhattan's West Side. The plot revolves around Jackson and his unrequited love for Alexandra (and the business dealings that have left him, unbeknownst to all, nearly broke); Cassy Cochran, Alexandra's executive producer and former lover (for readers of Riverside Drive will remember that Alexandra's big secret is the fact that she's gay); and Gordon Strenn, Alexandra's fianc‚, who does not know her big secret. There's also your de rigueur alcoholic, Jessica Wright, the spunky talk-show host who becomes Alexandra's confidante. In the end, Jackson and Cassy pair up: Gordon finds another; Jessica joins AA; and Alexandra is left, an enormous success but alone, to pick up the pieces of her personal life. Fairly good glimpses into the making of a TV network, and the usual liberal doses of sex--but, in all, a novel with little in the way of plot, no interesting villains, and dullish main characters, especially Alexandra.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1989
Publisher: Doubleday