Starring Mom

Mallory Tarcher, Author
Mallory Tarcher, Author Zebra $3.5 (0p) ISBN 978-0-8217-4642-4
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Launched with much fanfare, this novel by the daughter of publisher Jeremy Tarcher and Shari Lewis is entertainingly flamboyant, with lavish settings and theatrical plotting. At its center is Dena Thomas, whose mother, Shena Stone, left home when Dena was five to become an entertainer. Now 16, Dena leaves the Beverly Hills home she shares with her father and stepmother to spend the summer with Shena in Las Vegas. The girl is given a car and her own posh suite in the hotel where Shena performs--and within a day is dating Mitch, the son of the hotel's owner, who is a former live-in beau of Shena's. Though Dena is caught up in this glitzy existence, her high spirits are dampened by the realization that her mother's top priority is her career. And there are other crises: she fears that the baby her stepmother is carrying will sap all of her father's affection and that the acting school Mitch plans to enter will separate them. All worry is for naught, of course--and Dena even comes to terms with her relationship with her rather remote mother. A word of warning: one somewhat steamy scene has Mitch and a topless Dena groping in the backseat of his car. Ages 10-14. (July)
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