American-born Crosland, London Sunday Times columnist and author of Tony Crosland --a memoir of her late husband, Britain's former Foreign Secretary--seems well positioned to fictionalize the political and sexual games played by Britain's power brokers. This entertaining, if not riveting, soap opera with the ring of a roman a clef stars Daisy Brewster, 23-year-old Radcliffe graduate and lover of Princeton professor Carl Myer. Hoping to prove her self-sufficiency by spending a year alone in London before marrying Carl, Daisy begins writing for an influential Sunday newspaper and befriends womanizing Tory MP Andrew Harwood, manipulative editor Ben Franwell, sexy gossip columnist Angela Brent and a circle of colorful, amusing caricatures inside Fleet Street's editorial enclaves, Claridge's hotel suites, 10 Downing Street and Buckingham Palace. Crosland's all too obvious clue-dropping and the dearth of sophisticated literary devices and psychological complexity make the reader's job either pleasantly easy or annoyingly unchallenging. Although the plot lacks the high intrigue and controversy that Crosland's format potentially offers, the novel is a brisk, diverting read. 35,000 first printing; major ad/promo; author tour. (Apr.)
As an undergraduate, Daisy Brewster begins an affair with Carl Myer, professor of international studies at Princeton. After graduation, Daisy goes to London, intending to spend a year trying her hand at sculpture before returning to marry Carl. Instead, she lands a writing job for a London weekly and falls in love with the most sought-after bachelor in Parliament. Daisy's rebuff of her editor boss's advances return to haunt her and her MP spouse 15 years later, when he has advanced to Minister of Defense and Carl heads the U.S. Department of Defense. Not only has Crosland worked as a London journalist, but her insight into British politics is also firsthand: she was married to Anthony Crosland, a Labour MP who held several ministerial posts. Quests for political and sexual conquest keep the plot bubbling. Those who like their politics spicy will devour this entertaining novel.-- Kathy Piehl, Mankato State Univ., Minn.