Picks and Pans Review: Mistral's Daughter
by Judith Krantz
For her third outing, the current queen of the trash novel combines the worlds of New York modeling and French modern art. The name of her heroine alone—Fauve—is enough to cause any literate reader to drop the book like a hot, foul-smelling brick. But Krantz fans apparently dote on these sugar-coated lives of glamour, big money and fame. They've come to expect, for example, "the most famous of all the modeling agencies in the world." Fauve, who is second-in-command, is more chic than any of her models. She gets word that her father has died. Then Krantz reverts to the days when Paris' Left Bank had a great artist in every garret and none was greater than Fauve's father. The paintings that launched him are a series of nude portraits of Fauve's grandmother, the most beautiful model on the Left Bank. (Fauve's mother is the greatest photographer's model ever.) At the end Fauve refuses to go to the old man's funeral in Provence because she thinks he's rotten. In fact, he really did love her—her beauty and truth had caused him to become good. Fauve and her papa and everyone else, of course, behave in irrational ways to suit Krantz's erratic plot. This book is still better than her Princess Daisy, but it hasn't the burst of fresh energy that made Scruples such engaging junk. (Crown, $15.95)
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