Borrowed Lives

Laramie Dunaway, Author
Laramie Dunaway, Author Warner Books $18.95 (458p) ISBN 978-0-446-51702-7
Reviewed on: 11/02/1992
Release date: 11/01/1992
Mass Market Paperbound - 480 pages - 978-0-446-36530-7
Paperback - 371 pages - 978-0-9793720-2-5
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Written in a frisky, wisecracking style, Dunaway's second novel (after Hungry Women ) kicks off smartly when good friends Luna Devon (a timid, lackluster graduate student) and Wren Caldwell (a clever, outspoken, gorgeous budding writer) both get shot by a crazed, suicidal pal. Only Luna survives. with a bullet hole in her chest. Boldly deciding to change her ho-hum life, Luna gathers Wren's brilliant literary efforts, responds to Wren's job offers and reinvents herself as a brainy journalist for a trendy California magazine. As Wren, she finds that the sassier her act, the bigger the payoff. Assigned to interview jailed husband-killer Season Dougherty, she becomes Season's ally and lands a fat contract to script her story for Hollywood. Playing on her borrowed name and credentials, she breezes into an affair with the amiable Davis Richard, himself a chaser of filmworthy stories. As her adventures as Wren hilariously pile up, Luna begins to see her criminally scripted double life as the stuff of movies, especially when she gets the surprise package of her pilfered identity--the arrival of dead Wren's shady, handsome ex-con husband, Byron, who is all too ready to go along with the scam. Blending a wealth of entertaining, good-humored tough talk with a rugged and ready sexuality, Dunaway keeps this romp of a novel moving with dexterity and panache. A snappy denouement shows Luna, having played Wren to the hilt, now primed to reenter her own life bolder and wiser. This is the first title in Warner's new Fresh Voices Program, which aims to publish quality fiction by unsung writers. Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club alternates. (Nov.)
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