THE PILLOW FIGHT by Nicholas Monsarrat
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The story of Kate Marais and Jonathan Steele is the sort of sophisticated love story with an underlying idea that Hollywood used to rush into film for Irene Dunne and Cary Grant. Hollywood may not risk it any more, but the form still has tremendous energy. The two pillows in this are his and hers; she tells the first half of their story and he the second. Kate Marais was South African gentry, bright, brittle and selfishly successful. She thought of Jonathan Steele as just another young English writer who had come to South Africa to write a fast novel out of the readymade drama of the race situation in which she refused to take an interest. They fell in love, fought through a courtship to marriage while he produced a book that was both beautiful and a best seller. Steele takes up the story six years later when both of them are reacting to his commercial success as if it were a disease -- he's given up to it and she's fighting the side effects of the New York celebrity scene--his drinking and his abandonment of ethical commitment. He's got best seller-itis and she's got the values he's discarded. Monsarrat tells his story with show stopping bezzaz. This should hit that vast middlebrow market ready for a love story about the ""beautiful people"" nobody writes much about frequently; of the now rare breed, this is frontrunner.

Pub Date: March 3rd, 1965
Publisher: Morrow-Sloane