THE WOMAN IN THE PICTURE by Viki Wright

THE WOMAN IN THE PICTURE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A rather tedious first novel in which Rosemary Quilty is an attractive suburban housewife and mother of two whose husband suddenly leaves her for a younger woman. The first hundred plus pages of this by-now familiar story examine the minutiae of Rosemary's emotions like a lepidopterist picking over the entrails of a moth. Rosemary is shocked. Rosemary is numb. Rosemary is hurt, then angry. There's a day when she feels liberated and hopeful; but a day of despondency follows hard on its heels. About a third of the way through, though, a plot is finally introduced: a menacing but sexy tycoon appears on the scene. He tries to ruin Rosemary's ex-husband, and she nearly loses her house and all her worldly goods as a result (divorce-settlement details clutter up much of the book). And then it turns out that the woman who stole Rosemary's husband is the tycoon's illegitimate daughter, a fact he is desperate to conceal. . . A Jackie Collins could have made something exhilaratingly trashy out of this but there's every indication that Wright, an Australian journalist, believes this to be a serious work with a plausible plot. In the course of which she writes sentences like, ""At times, during that long and wonderful night, they were peaceful together, and then wild in ways that broke new frontiers for Rosemary."" This is at the end, when Rosemary decides to settle down with a man who has been portrayed throughout as a loser just because he is warmhearted. Overall, an unfortunate mishmash of bleary emotionalism and soap-opera contrivances.

Pub Date: June 1st, 1988
Publisher: Viking