December 14, 1981 12:00 PM

by Tracy Hotchner

This event-packed first novel is about growing up rich and spoiled. The heroine’s father is a successful art dealer whose work takes him and his family back and forth to Europe. On Long Island they live with servants, dogs and horses. The mother is a vivid woman brimming with love and zest. But the parents divorce when the heroine is a teenager, and the mother suffers a long, terrible death from cancer. These harrowing episodes are followed by the daughter’s troubled marriage to a perfect man. It never seems to occur to any of these bright people that a good psychiatrist might be able to provide a little relief for their pain. The author, who is the daughter of Hemingway biographer A.E. Hotchner and who wrote the screenplay for Mommie Dearest, tries hard to be fair to all her characters—except the heroine, who is obnoxious, harsh, selfish, cruel and immature. The writing is impressive, full of admirable energy and resonant detail. (Morrow, $11.95)

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