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Screenwriter and director Conn, who adapted the film Claire of the Moon into a novel, may be too firmly entrenched in Hollywood--or so it seems in her formulaic latest. Lindsay Brennan, a lesbian, is a variation on a clich‚: the familiar Type A personality who puts work ahead of personal life and in the process risks alienating herself from love and happiness. As the most brilliant architect ever to hit Portland, Oregon, Lindsay has made work her life for so long that her heart is frozen--until she's introduced (by a former for-sex-only flame) to Sondra Pinchot, a 40-ish interior designer/alcoholic who's just bought the beach house of her dreams and is looking for just-the-right architect to redesign it. After a few weeks of combining work with passion--weeks during which Lindsay and Sondra snag the plum job of designing the Darlington Arts Pavilion--Sondra cracks under the pressure of her first relationship with a woman. Enter her daughter Samantha, also an interior designer (and, conveniently, stuck in an unfulfilling heterosexual relationship in Seattle), who rides in on a white horse to send her mother to rehab and take over her portion of the Pavilion job--and ultimately prove herself to be Lindsay's soulmate. The supporting cast of Lindsay's assistants provides some laughs--Snag is a G‚rard Depardieu-loving, hedonistic queen; and overweight, always-a-bridesmaid Megan finally meets her love match--but finally takes up too much space in the book, possibly compensating, inadvertently, for the fact that Lindsay, Sondra, and Samantha are one-dimensional and inherently dull. The prologue--a dramatic car crash--connects precariously to the conclusion, in which Conn tries, too late, to establish the notion that things aren't always what they seem. So many plot twists, so little time--the passion never truly emerges from the shadow in this convoluted, scene-obsessed production.

Pub Date: Oct. 19th, 1995
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster