Having It All

Reva Korda, Author Dutton Books $19.95 (336p) ISBN 978-0-525-24944-3
In her first novel, former Olgilvy & Mather v-p Korda tells a downbeat, angst-filled story underlining the disadvantages of being a woman, particularly a female executive of a certain age. Becky Gagarin, creative head and executive vice-president of the Seton & Cecil ad agency, seems to have it all: dazzling career; artist husband Alex, a recovered alcoholic; two college-age kids; and an apartment on Central Park West. But constant references to flab, wrinkles and menopause, as well as changes at Seton & Cecil, reveal that Becky is barely keeping her insecurity-ridden act together. Too star-struck to oppose her idol/mentor Angus Seton, the agency's founder, she doesn't support her co-workers' class action protesting sexism and ageism in the agency. While Becky is totally absorbed in her work. Alex becomes involved with a beautiful young girl whom he guides through AA. Only late in the book, after a Seton & Cecil reorganization strips her of power (and after too many flashbacks to the good old days), does Becky wake up to the discrimination and get out, creating a better position for herself with a cosmetics company in a small Midwestern town. She and Alex reconcile and start a new life, suggesting--sappily--that despite love handles, crow's feet and hot flashes, happiness after 50 is possible. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1991
Release date: 01/01/1991
Mass Market Paperbound - 368 pages - 978-0-451-17165-8
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