Author: Beth Gutcheon
Published: March 2012 – William Morrow
About: (from the publisher) Loviah “Lovie” French owns a small, high-end dress shop on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Renowned for her taste, charm, and discretion, Lovie is the one to whom certain women turn when they need “just the thing” for key life events: baptisms and balls, weddings and funerals. Among those who depend on Lovie’s sage advice are her two best friends since boarding school days: Dinah Wainwright and Avis Metcalf. Despite the love they share for their mutual friend, there has always been a chilly gulf between Dinah and Avis, the result of a perceived slight from decades ago that has unimaginably tragic echoes many years later.
My take: Three girls met at boarding school in the early 1960s. Loviah “Lovie” French and Dinah Kittredge were on scholarship and Avis Binney was old money. They remained in Manhattan so their paths crossed throughout their lives.
I thought Dinah was the most developed character of the three. I really felt an understanding for her motivation throughout her life. Lovie is the narrator so she tells us about everyone else but very little about herself. I found myself wanting to know why she made one or two major life decisions. Avis, although a nice person, seems rather clueless and emotionally detached.
The story of the three women spans the 1960s to present day. Marriages, children, divorce, money problems – all the stuff of life – are revealed through Lovie’s story. The title works into the characters and plot. One of the woman writes a gossip column, one is telling the story, and more than one is the subject of gossip that may or may not be true.
I read Gossip in a day. I had to see where Lovie’s story was going so I kept reading. In the end, it’s an entertaining novel about the far-reaching effects of gossip on wealthy people who, money aside, are more like you and me than you might imagine.
Source: FSB Associates
Disclosure: See sidebar. I was not compensated for my review.
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Beth Gutcheon, author of Gossip, is the critically acclaimed author of eight previous novels: The New Girls, Still Missing, Domestic Pleasures, Saying Grace, Five Fortunes, More Than You Know, Leeway Cottage and Good-bye and Amen. She is the writer of several film scripts, including the Academy Award nominee The Children of Theatre Street. She lives in New York City.