TRIPLE FEATURE

Newcomer Bagshawe, 25, takes the Swell Trash baton from Judith Krantz with a dead-on Hollywood hit. In an Americanization of her British bestseller The Movie, Bagshawe brings some rock 'n' roll and a few Gen-X trappings to the traditional sex-and-shopping romance, while sticking to the basics of the genre in timeless escapist fashion, with soul-wrenching copulation on navy-blue satin Pratesi sheets and equally explicit and detailed descriptions of oral sex and the secrets of makeup. Three women come to Los Angeles to make movies, have sex, and find love: Megan Silver, the mousy young scriptwriter from San Francisco, who writes a blockbuster and diets her thighs off; Eleanor Marshall, the ``ice queen'' CEO of her studio, the most powerful woman in Hollywood, who's dealing with biological-clock issues; and supermodel Roxana Felix, whose skill in bed gets her anything her perfect face and body cannot. Megan is waltzed off her job waitressing at a Hollywood fast-food restaurant by sleazoid young agent David Tauber (great pecs, no soul), who, with his classier superagent boss Sam Kendrick, is using her brilliant script as the glue in a big-deal movie package to be produced by Eleanor and her mentor protÇgÇ Tom Goldman, with whom she has been in love ever since she was a gangly young Yalie desperate for his attention. The male star will be Megan's wolf-eyed rock hero Zach Mason, who makes her his woman in a misty forest on the Seychelles; the director will be the genius of his generation, Fred Florescu; and the female star is cold and calculating Roxana, wounded as a child in ways one frequently hears about on Sally and Oprah. Smart and fun, with perhaps too much Brit label-dropping for an American audience, but distinguished by a shameless sensibility that blithely, repeatedly goes over-the-top.

Pub Date: April 1, 1997

ISBN: 0-684-83069-8

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1997

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

THE COLDEST WINTER EVER

Debut novel by hip-hop rap artist Sister Souljah, whose No Disrespect (1994), which mixes sexual history with political diatribe, is popular in schools country-wide. In its way, this is a tour de force of black English and underworld slang, as finely tuned to its heroine’s voice as Alice Walker’s The Color Purple. The subject matter, though, has a certain flashiness, like a black Godfather family saga, and the heroine’s eventual fall develops only glancingly from her character. Born to a 14-year-old mother during one of New York’s worst snowstorms, Winter Santiaga is the teenaged daughter of Ricky Santiaga, Brooklyn’s top drug dealer, who lives like an Arab prince and treats his wife and four daughters like a queen and her princesses. Winter lost her virginity at 12 and now focuses unwaveringly on varieties of adolescent self-indulgence: sex and sugar-daddies, clothes, and getting her own way. She uses school only as a stepping-stone for getting out of the house—after all, nobody’s paying her to go there. But if there’s no money in it, why go? Meanwhile, Daddy decides it’s time to move out of Brooklyn to truly fancy digs on Long Island, though this places him in the discomfiting position of not being absolutely hands-on with his dealers; and sure enough the rise of some young Turks leads to his arrest. Then he does something really stupid: he murders his wife’s two weak brothers in jail with him on Riker’s Island and gets two consecutive life sentences. Winter’s then on her own, especially with Bullet, who may have replaced her dad as top hood, though when she selfishly fails to help her pregnant buddy Simone, there’s worse—much worse—to come. Thinness aside: riveting stuff, with language so frank it curls your hair. (Author tour)

Pub Date: April 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-671-02578-3

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Pocket

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1999

Did you like this book?

A love letter to the power of books and friendship.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

THE GIVER OF STARS

Women become horseback librarians in 1930s Kentucky and face challenges from the landscape, the weather, and the men around them.

Alice thought marrying attractive American Bennett Van Cleve would be her ticket out of her stifling life in England. But when she and Bennett settle in Baileyville, Kentucky, she realizes that her life consists of nothing more than staying in their giant house all day and getting yelled at by his unpleasant father, who owns a coal mine. She’s just about to resign herself to a life of boredom when an opportunity presents itself in the form of a traveling horseback library—an initiative from Eleanor Roosevelt meant to counteract the devastating effects of the Depression by focusing on literacy and learning. Much to the dismay of her husband and father-in-law, Alice signs up and soon learns the ropes from the library’s leader, Margery. Margery doesn’t care what anyone thinks of her, rejects marriage, and would rather be on horseback than in a kitchen. And even though all this makes Margery a town pariah, Alice quickly grows to like her. Along with several other women (including one black woman, Sophia, whose employment causes controversy in a town that doesn’t believe black and white people should be allowed to use the same library), Margery and Alice supply magazines, Bible stories, and copies of books like Little Women to the largely poor residents who live in remote areas. Alice spends long days in terrible weather on horseback, but she finally feels happy in her new life in Kentucky, even as her marriage to Bennett is failing. But her powerful father-in-law doesn’t care for Alice’s job or Margery’s lifestyle, and he’ll stop at nothing to shut their library down. Basing her novel on the true story of the Pack Horse Library Project established by the Works Progress Administration in the 1930s, Moyes (Still Me, 2018, etc.) brings an often forgotten slice of history to life. She writes about Kentucky with lush descriptions of the landscape and tender respect for the townspeople, most of whom are poor, uneducated, and grateful for the chance to learn. Although Alice and Margery both have their own romances, the true power of the story is in the bonds between the women of the library. They may have different backgrounds, but their commitment to helping the people of Baileyville brings them together.

A love letter to the power of books and friendship.

Pub Date: Oct. 8, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-399-56248-8

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Pamela Dorman/Viking

Review Posted Online: July 1, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

more