Monday, February 2, 2009

Three Women

"Bone By Bone" by Carol O'Connell G. P. Putnam & Sons 340 pages $24.95

Two boys walk into the woods ... only one walks back out. The other is never found. But 20 years later, "Someone' begins leaving the boy's bones, one by one, on his father's front porch.

The women in this who-dunnit range from the all-knowing housekeeper to the alcoholic rich wife and her daughter and a very sharp policewoman. The tone throughout is psychologically dark in that the characters all have secrets and silences -- and their own reasons for everything they do. It's a good read. And, if you know, don't tell me how it ends! I'm 20 pages away from that.

"Mistress of the Sun" by Sandra Gulland Touchstone, a division of Simon & Schuster 382 pages $26

This is an excellent book about Louise de la Valliere who became Louis XIV's favorite consort -- how they met; how she resisted his advances and then finally, unable not to love him, succumbed. Court intrigues, out-of-wedlock children (she and Louis had four!) and the machinations of other wanna-be mistresses made for a riveting read.

"The Legs Are the Last To Go" by Diahann Carroll with Bob Morris (who may have succumbed to boredom and died writing it) HarperCollins 272 pages $24.95

I had thought it might be interesting to read a contemporary black woman's biography (February being Black Awareness month) but clearly I overlooked the show biz side of her memooirs. It's a self-aggrandizing whine most of the way through -- "Should, coulda -- but didn't -- My Career!" Clearly she loved it far above family (including a daughter from her first husband -- she wed four times.) Her most famous husband was singer Vic Damone who was a demon golfer and preferred that to her company (most of the time.) Today she celebrates being in her '70s with all of the wisdom age brings to us. (All through the book she goes on and on about being a senior citizen and how much she's learned.) She hopes to be able to spend time with her grandchildren. If she doesn't get a better offer. (In April, 2006, she opened her first solo show in New York.)

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