MOURNING GLORY by Warren Adler


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A crude attempt at romance from Adler (The Ties That Bind, 1994, etc.), this time about a Catholic divorcée on the skids who ensnares and then falls in love with a rich Jewish widower.

Thirty-eight-year-old Grace can barely support herself and troubled sixteen-year-old daughter Jackie working at the makeup counter of the Saks Fifth Avenue in Palm Beach, Florida. When Grace gets fired, the executive doing the firing coolly suggests she look for a rich, aging husband instead of a new job—a Jewish widower, the ex-boss suggests, because Jewish men make good husbands. At first Grace is outraged, but she needs money and finds herself attending Jewish funerals. She sets her sights on Sam, a business magnate whose wife has died of cancer. In his early 60s, Sam is fit, good-looking, and well-heeled. Grace insinuates herself into his life by pretending to have done charity work with his wife, and he accepts her offer to give away the dead woman’s extensive wardrobe. Soon she is at the house daily, sorting designer labels, sipping champagne with Sam, and having the best sex of her life. While charming him with her apparent honesty, Grace is increasingly guilt-stricken about the web of lies she's spun about her past. She doesn’t know that Sam is also hiding a guilty secret: his beloved wife’s frigidity sent him to prostitutes. Then Grace discovers that his wife secretly had a lover. As Grace falls in love with her Jewish “mark,” she tries to give moral guidance to Jackie, now under the spell of a vicious, anti-Semitic skinhead. Can Sam, a kind and caring person as well as a fabulous lover, save not only Grace but her daughter from evil? Will he still love Grace even after all secrets are exposed?

Glib trash, and a rather sad middle-aged male fantasy of a younger woman’s desire for an older man.

Pub Date: Aug. 7th, 2001
ISBN: 1-57566-898-X
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: Kensington
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 2001


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