SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP by Robyn Sisman

SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A pleasurable if predictable first novel combining flashbacks of Oxford's 1960s counterculture with a tantalizing and barely disguised version of a modern-day American political campaign. Annie Paxford is a British literary agent with a brilliant career, a loving husband, and three well-adjusted teenage children. But she has been holding back a potentially explosive secret from her days as an Oxford undergraduate: a brief but passionate affair with American Rhodes scholar, saxophone player, draft-dodger, marijuana-smoker, and Fleetwood Mac fan Jordan Hope, the man who is days away from becoming president of the US. Son Tom, just beginning his own Oxford education, discovers an old photo of Annie with Jordan, to whom he bears an uncanny resemblance; when his mother hedges her answers to his questions, Tom decides to investigate. Within days of discovering his incomplete birth certificate, he's in New York, where godmother Rose--Annie's best friend from Oxford, an infamous and glamorous expatriate magazine publisher (think Tina Brown)--is determined to prevent her naive godson from ruining both Jordan's campaign and Tom's own relationship with his worried parents. While Tom is wined and dined by the seductive Rose (who teaches him far more than how to shop at Barneys), Annie launches her own business, engineers a $2-million book deal, and reunites with Jordan in Chicago for one forbidden, unforgettable night. Any pollster could predict Tom's return to England, Jordan's victory, and Annie's inevitable discovery that true love has been waiting all along at home. Sisman was a classmate of Bill Clinton's at Oxford, and her ""fact is stranger than fiction"" approach, though potentially dated and tedious, actually comes across here as well-crafted and fresh. Light stuff, but buoyant and fun.

Pub Date: Aug. 21st, 1995
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: Dutton