Presidents Women

June Flaum Singer, Author Crown Publishers $19.95 (503p) ISBN 978-0-517-57028-9
Flaum ( Stardreams ) depicts the tempestuous lives of the clashing Sheridans and Stantons in this lackluster novel. During WW II, sisters Carlotta and Francesca (Frankie) Collings meet suave Bill Sheridan. Frankie adores Bill, but he cares solely for Carlotta, a sultry and reckless beauty who finally weds a gangster. Meanwhile, shrewish Judith Tyler Stanton, fabulously wealthy niece of the Collings sisters, uses her political influence on Bill's behalf in return for his grudgingly granted sexual attentions. In 1962, after Carlotta's accidental death and Frankie's marriage to Bill (now Florida's powerful governor and a presidential aspirant), the whole clan uneasily mixes at the 16th birthday gala of the Sheridans' daughter, D'Arcy. Problems quickly materialize: D'Arcy ill-advisedly falls for Rudyard, Judith's son (he's really Bill's illegitimate offspring); woebegone Abby, Carlotta's daughter, craves attention; widowed Judith, still calculating and vengeful, creates new antagonisms; Jade, Carlotta's younger daughter, vows to avenge her mother's death. These characters' complex familial and emotional interrelationships overwhelm the flimsy plot, whose political overtones seem shallow and gratuitious. The author's often sophomoric prose is another deterrent to the reader. (October)
Reviewed on: 09/01/1988
Release date: 09/01/1988
Genre: Nonfiction
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