Smile, Honey

Anabel Donald, Author Mercury House $19.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-916515-59-1
Donald ( Poor Dear Charlotte ) draws an astringently hilarious comedy of manners, set in contemporary London and the U.S., around child star ``Honey'' Markham's coming-of-age at 38. Sporting sharp-witted dialogue appropriate to its cast of vivid characters, this effortlessly readable novel is replete with acute social perception from a feminist slant. Dyslexic and nearly illiterate, Honey was raised by her appalling, predatory stage mother, and by the exploitatively sexist movie industry, to believe herself incompetent in everything except ravishing prettiness. Now, after the departure of a longtime lover, Honey resolves to get her life in order, and to have the baby her lover refused to father. Her bosom friend Till, a former child actress who is now a psychoanalyst, acts as Honey's chief support and mentor. Till is less adept at handling her own affairs, continuing to bed a married, heavy-drinking womanizer. When Honey seeks out the Significant Seminal Resource in Marin County to provide the baby she craves, she comes into her own with the help of Till, their charming bisexual gigolo friend Jacky Hamzavi--and earnest readings of Marcus Aurelius. Donald maintains the zippy pace of her clever, entertaining tale as it hurdles to the surprising end. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1989
Release date: 01/01/1989
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