cover image I'm Glad About You

I'm Glad About You

Theresa Rebeck. Putnam, $26.95 (384p) ISBN 978-0-399-17288-5

Showbiz maven Rebeck paints a pretty bleak picture of Hollywood in this breezy, eye-opening behind-the-scenes expose of what it means to be a star in today's fast-paced, media-blitzing celebrity world. Alison Moore leaves her Cincinnati home, and, not incidentally, Kyle Wallace, the high school boyfriend with whom she's had a tumultuous, on-again/off-again relationship for years%E2%80%94complicated by his strict conformity to Catholicism%E2%80%94and follows her dream of being an actor. A bit part in a New York City-based television drama propels her into a leading role in a TV series, and then she gets a big break to star in a major motion picture. Kyle, now a pediatrician, finds himself on the rebound in the clutches of a manipulative woman who engineers a whirlwind romance and marriage; but he and Alison, who periodically run into each other when she comes back to Cincinnati, never lose the spark between them. Rebeck takes on a lot, including the vagaries of entertainment media which can be the catalyst to overnight success and failure, as well as the problematic impact religion has on Kyle's life choices. Still, she entertainingly gets her message across that celebrity is not as fabulous as it looks and that people who follow their dreams need to stay true to themselves to find true happiness. (Mar.)