Actor Tucker, best known for his work on L.A. Law, writes his first novel—about an actor who loses his beloved wife to cancer, though hints of a May-December romance are in the wings.
Herbie Aaron and his wife Annie have been a celebrity couple over many long years, but Annie is now facing her final curtain. Herbie deals with this in part by hitting the bars pretty hard, and in one he notices Olive, a bartender who’s a knockout but who’s also young enough to be his daughter. He tells Annie about Olive, and Annie insists on meeting her. When the inevitable happens and Annie dies, Herbie gets in touch with his agent to help Olive land a job—somewhat implausibly—as an actress, and despite the prodigious unemployment rate among professional actors, Olive lands a job in Uncle Vanya, albeit in Rochester rather than on Broadway. Meanwhile, Herbie copes by heading to South Carolina to play some golf and reminisce about the good times he had with Annie. While trying to master the intricacies of a game he doesn’t even like, he hires Billy (a woman) to improve his skill on the links, but because Billy is a lesbian, Herbie wisely senses the unlikelihood of romance from that quarter, though Billy’s sister Roxanne is another story. Every evening, however, he gets a phone call from Olive, who gives progress reports on her rehearsals with a hot-shot young director and a lead actor who seems to be having psychotic episodes—or is he merely an actor who pretends to have psychotic episodes to juice up his role as Vanya? By the end we’re led to believe that despite his loyalty to Annie, Herbie might in fact find a life with Olive.
A lightweight novel that’s paradoxically both earthy and frothy.