MY SISTER'S KEEPER by Shirley Lord


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 The author of Faces (1989), etc., returns with another improbable tale of big bucks and betrayal in the cosmetics industry--all laced with plenty of semi-explicit sex. The story begins as Louise Towers, the founder of a highly successful cosmetics firm, is attacked and--in a coma--left for dead. It unfolds as an extended flashback, explaining who would (or is it who wouldn't?) have it in for our heroine. Louise starts off as Ludmilla, a struggling beautician's daughter in Prague. She marries a man she doesn't love in order to get to America, where her new husband works for a wealthy middle-aged businessman named Benedict Towers. Towers becomes obsessed with Ludmilla, and the two have a torrid affair until his wife throws her out. Then Ludmilla goes to London, becomes a protÇgÇe of Helena Rubinstein, and, later, after his wife conveniently dies in a train wreck, Towers hunts her down, marries her, changes her name to Louise, and sets her up in what turns into a thriving business. Yet Towers continues to dominate and patronize Louise, who begins to lust after his sensitive son, Charles. Meanwhile, Louise smuggles her little sister, Natasha, out of Czechoslovakia--but leaves Natasha's husband and baby behind. Throwing herself into her sister's business, Natasha exhibits her own flair for concocting and selling cosmetics, and then some. There'll be seductions, lies, death, betrayals, and power-plays before Louise at last wakes up from her coma; finds out who attacked her; is showered with love by everyone in her contentious family; and finds true love right in her own backyard. The title aside, this has precious little to do with sisterly love--or any other recognizable human emotion. Vogue editor Lord's portrait of the beauty business is generally convincing, but her character and plot need development from the foundation up.

Pub Date: Jan. 10th, 1994
ISBN: 0-517-58271-6
Page count: 416pp
Publisher: Crown
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1st, 1993