Go to Homepage   Carol Wolper: The Cigarette Girl

  Crescent Blues Book Views

Three moon gifRiverhead Books (Paperback), ISBN 1-57322-818-4
Most romances involve boy-meets-girl or girl-meets-boy, lots of sexual tension and a happy-ever-after ending. Not The Cigarette Girl, where frequent casual sex plays like a favorite sport. At least, until you hit your 28th birthday and land in The Zone, "that seven-year period between the ages of 28 and 35 when women feel the pressure to resolve the marriage and baby issues."

Book: Carol Wolper, The Cigarette GirlBefore you turn 28, you believe all the hype Hollywood pitches -- you can enjoy a successful career and marry the perfect mate. But the minute reality blows out the 28 candles on your birthday cake you realize that life doesn't work out like a Hollywood movie. Suddenly you want to trade in your four hundred dollar Stephanie Kelian suede ankle boots for a diamond wedding ring.

Twenty-eight-year-old Hollywood screenwriter Elizabeth West prowls the sexual roads of Los Angeles, where "shallow is politically correct." Elizabeth writes action flicks for eight-figure stars so she knows all about men and their testosterone. A weakness for Hollywood bad-boys provides her with great sex, but no suitable marriage material. Where should a girl in The Zone look for Mr. Right? Even Mr. Maybe-Right? A man who blends adventure with security. Could it be David, the architect? What about her boss, Jake, the A-list director and one of Hollywood's legendary bad boys?

Elizabeth watched too many girlfriends hit 28 and bam! They married some humorless corporate/lawyer type that they would've ignored in their pre-Zone days. Willingly, they drop their sexy party girl clothes to pull on cashmere sweater sets and push baby strollers.

Now Elizabeth West faces the same peril. Elizabeth travels down a bumpy sexual road without a clear destination. But Carol Wolper makes Elizabeth's journey funny and pure Hollywood.

Where else but in Hollywood would sex with a starlet (a.k.a. bimbo) serve as a director's sleeping pill? Where else but in Hollywood would a bikini waxer rate as a highly valuable commodity? So valuable that a big movie executive gave his perfectly waxed wife (after all, her wax job did match the photo from the porno magazine to a "T") an emerald ring and sent the waxer orchids! Now that's show biz!

Carol Wolper packs her novel full of juicy insider tidbits. With all its Hollywood trappings, Elizabeth West's search for love seems more sexcapade than romance. Elizabeth and her best friends engage in bawdy girl talk saltier than the sweatiest male locker room conversations. But Elizabeth's predicament does reach a satisfactory conclusion that presents a very 21st century view of a woman in her sexual zone.

Doris Valliant

Click here to share your views.