Picks and Pans Review: Facade
The author was a staple of gossip columns in New York City and in her adopted home, Palm Beach, during her 1982 made-in-tabloid-heaven divorce from the scion of the great publishing family. Seeming to cash in on the cachet of her famous name and to help cover living expenses, Pulitzer began writing Florida-based fiction.
The best that can be said about her current Palm Beach story is that Pulitzer tries. She knows that novels set in the playgrounds of the rich ought to be populated with beautiful women (Facade features four), preferably beautiful women with salacious secrets and unsavory pasts (Facade boasts a former call girl, a hit-and-run driver, a plagiarist, a victim of sexual abuse). Such novels must also have lavish settings, fancy clothes, name brands and tawdry sex (Facade is batting 1,000 here).
What Facade also has are pasteboard characters, a weakly motored plot and prose that would drive a creative-writing teacher to despair. "Their life together was a lake so shallow it could not cool in summer," is one example of Pulitzer's stab at lyricism. Regretfully, Facade offers many, many more. (Simon & Schuster, $20)