Every day on her job as a cosmetics saleswoman at Saks in Palm Beach, Florida, Grace Sorrentino looked into the faces of her future, aging women looking for ways to hide the effects of time. Her own wrinkled future was looking much more imminent, though, because, unlike her customers, Grace could not spend obscene amounts of money holding back the hands of the clock. Grace, in her late thirties with a teenaged daughter, could barely afford to pay her rent. So, when she lost her job, some strange advice she received in her exit interview stuck with her: Find a rich, aging widower and marry him.
This premise may strike a chord with female readers of an age with Grace, those who grew up at the tail end of generations of women who looked for their successes through their mates. In fact, Grace quite clearly sees herself as balanced on that cusp. In her earlier marriage, she had thought herself attached to a rising star who didn’t perform as expected. After that, Grace struggled as a single mother without help.
Warren Adler also wrote “War of the Roses”, a story of a bitter divorce from which a popular movie was made. I recall the movie as being very disturbing. Adler recreates that tension here as he follows Grace on her mission.
I’m not sure exactly how to categorize this book. It’s something of a romance but it has enough of an edge that it will be interesting to readers who, like myself, tend to avoid traditional romance novels. There’s a bit of explicit sex, most of which seemed pivotal to the story. While I can see that the audience for this book will be mostly women, I can see how some men might also enjoy it considering the insights provided into the complexities of the male-female relationship.
The book has balance as Adler writes in the third person, allowing both Grace and her “prey” to reveal their thoughts as the story progresses. The characters seem realistic and the author does an amazing job of getting inside the head of a woman. The complications which arise help keep the reader interested and the narrative tension escalating.
Adler has written 23 books previously so, if you liked this or any of his others, you’ll have plenty to keep you busy!
This book is also available at Amazon.co.uk
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