Like a modern-day Holly Golightly, Janey Wilcox is a glamor girl for hire. But instead of escaping with her $50 for the powder room, Janey, a model and onetime movie star, stays with her lovers, provided they offer a summer house in the Hamptons. When asked how her acting career is going, she replies, "I've been acting every day of my life."
Welcome to the (even) seamier side of Sex and the City. Bushnell, whose '96 book spawned the HBO series, is back with a new cast of Manhattan society apparatchiks more intriguing than Carrie and her crew. By rights we should detest the four blondes of this addictive story collection: Wealthy and beautiful, they whine incessantly and set feminism back decades with laments like "Would I be anything without a man?" Yet, we sympathize. Bushnell is no F. Scott Fitzgerald, but by breathing life into her sex-happy social set, she reveals the tarnish beyond the glitz. The dialogue provides the laughs. "I would say," declares one, "that the superficialities are the more important thing in every aspect of life." (Atlantic Monthly, $24)