cover image Outside In

Outside In

Courtney Thorne-Smith, . . Broadway, $23.95 (277pp) ISBN 978-0-7679-2749-9

Television actress Thorne-Smith, who has had roles on (among other shows) Melrose Place and According to Jim , delivers a Hollywood novel about a failed movie actress who finds new life as the star of a nighttime soap called Generations . But Kate Keyes-Morgan’s life, glamorous on the outside, is still less than perfect. This put-upon heroine has issues with weight and self-worth, and an overly controlling manager/husband to please. Her problems reach a head when she learns that her husband is having an affair with Sapphire Rose, Kate’s diva-like co-star. How Kate deals with this dual betrayal forms the dramatic core of a thin story prone to the classically shallow emotional highs and lows associated with soap operas. Except for vibrant Kate, the characters—Kate’s eccentric mother, her wisecracking best friend and her nominal love interest (an agent who improbably dreams of being a novelist)—seldom move beyond their stereotypical origins. A typical Hollywood ending caps the story, but getting there is not nearly as much fun as it should be. (Sept.)