BELLA FIGURA by Trina Mascott


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The author, a screen writer, is at the controls all the way in this cheerfully elaborate partner-swap maneuver set in holiday Italy. Three American women are sitting ducks for villa-renting Count Leopoldo. Cara's the voluptuous mother of two screwed-up teenagers, wife of pudgy gentle Ben, and she's hoping to find aristocratic connections among the remnants of her Italian family in a remote village. Timid Jean, married to handsome, callow Ralph, is agog with culture. Cool young Joella, a jobless rover, will bed any way but wed no way. Leopoldo loves them all with the virtuoso's taste for variety: Cara has the drive of a Ferrari on the fur-covered water bed; Jean unfolds like a daffodil; but Joella, attracted against her will to the more-than-carnal demands of sculptor Dan, is Leopoldo's true goal. Under warm Italian thighs, Jean, Cara, and Joella reappraise alliances--and when Ben and the children and Ralph show up, all hell inevitably pops. But the gentle, fierce, and nice in-betweens pair off sensibly, leaving deflated Leopoldo to brood about the empty space and hot air within the bella figura. Light, tight, and just right for the summer rerun time.

Pub Date: June 28th, 1977
Publisher: St. Martin's