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 A lackluster soap opera with designer labels, expensive restaurants, and sexy locations, but not a spark of glamour. McGehee (Regret Not a Moment, 1993) takes as her heroine Dominique Avallon, the full-lipped daughter of a wealthy French cotton-manufacturing family in Cairo. To escape her sheltered upbringing, 21-year-old Dominique, in a simple navy dress, gets a job as secretary to a handsome but married British officer during the Suez crisis of 1956. When she refuses to put his children through the agony of a divorce, and political turmoil threatens her safety, Dominique marries Anton Renard and takes off for San Francisco in a fawn silk suit. Anton, who comes to bed with whiskey on his breath, is a louse who lives with his mother and lives off his women. Dominique escapes to Manhattan, where she becomes a successful event planner at New York's best department store. On the eve of her greatest triumph, she meets handsome shipping magnate Clay Parker, who sweeps her off her tiny feet and takes her to live in New Orleans. After giving up her career to be a good wife and mother, Dominique is dumped by Clay, who has fallen in love with a younger woman. Dominique buries her sorrow in Sara Lee pound cake, but in an epiphany finally recovers her backbone, resolves never again to depend on any man, and switches to tuna- fish salad. At 37, with her teenage daughter and problematic mother in tow, she moves to Washington, D.C. to build a new life. She resumes her friendship with charismatic Louisiana Senator Mark Patout, who is exponentially wealthier than Clay, but can she once again give up all she has built for the sake of romance? In a cream-colored suit, Dominique taxis to the Russell Senate Office Building. Like its heroine, tasteful but boring.

Pub Date: April 3rd, 1995
ISBN: 0-316-55854-0
Page count: 480pp
Publisher: Little, Brown
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 1995