RUNAWAY by Linda Weintraub


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The contrast between the subject of this first novel (runaway children) and the jacket photo of the author (million-dollar makeup, dressed to kill in organdy and pearls) will clue you in immediately to the sort of treatment this serious topic gets here: strictly Hollywood TV-movie. Sara Lee, black and 15 and possessed of a ""luscious young body,"" grabs little white Gailie and escapes from N.Y.'s Murphy House orphanage, ""an establishment which excelled at imposing misery"" (by comparison, Oliver Twist had it good). On the run across the country, the kids come under the wing of a sweet, blowsy waitress (paging Joan Blondell), but when they accept a ride from a slick guy, he kills the waitress, and Sara Lee kills him when he tries to rape her. Meanwhile, rich-kid runaway Freddie (with super-stereotype neglectful parents) has breezed down from Frisco to L.A. to become a singing star but runs afoul of some sort of gang. Eventually, all three kids somehow are taken over by short, vulgar but supposedly lovable salesman Jake Bloomberg and his handsome, depressed doctor pal; Freddie's folks get told off (he wants, and gets, a ""divorce""); and the kids team up for a great show-biz act. Technicolor trimmings, both lurid and sentimental, as the real issues are mindlessly reduced to unshaded black and white.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1978
Publisher: Ballantine