An Inconvenient Woman by Dominick Dunne
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I always say if you’re going to read trash, read the good trash.
As a roman a clef, this is not the story of Alfred Bloomingdale, the soap opera that churned around his mistress, Vicki Morgan, his widow Betsy’s refusal to honor her husband’s promises to Vicki after his unexpected death, and Vicki’s palimony suit and grisly murder. But even if it was that story, the names have been changed to protect the innocent.
I’m still not sure how libel issues are avoided when characters and events in a “novel” are known to be only thinly disguised, but it’s fun. Jules and Pauline Mendelson are the quintessential high society couple with their endless millions, their highly-placed and rich friends, their palatial estate, their impeccable taste. Flo March is a rather more innocent Vicki Morgan, being a waitress with daydreams rather than a full-on prostitute. I idly wondered how many other characters and incidents were based in reality (except for Truman Capote; he was obvious), but it didn’t matter. The artfully interwoven threads sewn around a real-life scandal, the little details that turn out to be a big deal, the dish and the dirt and the naughty behavior and the $40,000 curtains, add up to a delightfully guilty pleasure of a book.
Bookshelves: roman-a-clef, high-society, trashiest-trash, lifestyles-of-the-rich-and-famous, in-the-news
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