Simply Divine

Wendy Holden, Author Plume Books $12.95 (291p) ISBN 978-0-452-28167-7
Witty puns, glittery silliness and a down-to-earth heroine provide both style and substance in British journalist Holden's clever debut, a rollicking sendup of London's glam-mag industry. By day, plain Jane Bentley, 24, is a writer for a fashion glossy; by night, she's the sexually unfulfilled live-in love of Nick, a boring and boorish political climber. But things could be worse, as Jane soon finds out when her boss gives her a nightmare assignment: to ghostwrite a column ostensibly penned by Champagne D'Vyne, an impossibly annoying celebrity socialite. The scantily clad blonde Champagne is totally over-the-top: too dumb to notice her own malapropisms, puns and blunders, too rich and glamorous to care. As Jane grumpily endeavors to spin the minutiae of Champagne's shallow existence--her spoiled dog ""Gucci,"" her sexual exploits, her racy designer ensembles--into a popular column, she must also contend with her own problems, including new romantic prospects. Another distraction is her best friend, Tally, who is on a mission to save her family's crumbling country estate from being bulldozed. Holden, a former deputy editor of Tatler, has the inside scoop on the lifestyle she lampoons so well, and though her humorous depiction of Champagne's insane excesses grows tired, her emphasis on Jane's career is refreshing. Already a bestseller in England, this contemporary exploration of ""having it all"" should be popular here as well. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/03/2000
Release date: 04/01/2000
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