Ruling Passions

Susan Crosland, Author Henry Holt & Company $17.45 (376p) ISBN 978-0-8050-1220-0
American-born Crosland, London Sunday Times columnist and author of Tony Crosland --a memoir of her late husband, Britain's former Foreign Secretary--seems well positioned to fictionalize the political and sexual games played by Britain's power brokers. This entertaining, if not riveting, soap opera with the ring of a roman a clef stars Daisy Brewster, 23-year-old Radcliffe graduate and lover of Princeton professor Carl Myer. Hoping to prove her self-sufficiency by spending a year alone in London before marrying Carl, Daisy begins writing for an influential Sunday newspaper and befriends womanizing Tory MP Andrew Harwood, manipulative editor Ben Franwell, sexy gossip columnist Angela Brent and a circle of colorful, amusing caricatures inside Fleet Street's editorial enclaves, Claridge's hotel suites, 10 Downing Street and Buckingham Palace. Crosland's all too obvious clue-dropping and the dearth of sophisticated literary devices and psychological complexity make the reader's job either pleasantly easy or annoyingly unchallenging. Although the plot lacks the high intrigue and controversy that Crosland's format potentially offers, the novel is a brisk, diverting read. 35,000 first printing; major ad/promo; author tour. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1989
Release date: 01/01/1989
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-1-55817-586-0
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