Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Romance Characters Ripped From The Headlines (and from Seinfeld, too)

I've been preoccupied with my Great Office Clean-Up recently, and I'm slogging my way through a gargantuan Elizabeth George mystery, so this is just a quicky blog post.  It doesn't even qualify as a TBR Tuesday because the book I read yesterday -- Nora Roberts' The Perfect Neighbor -- wasn't in my TBR collection.  It was actually waiting to be swapped away.  It's just that when I came upon it while looking for a different book, I thought, "Do I even remember what this was about?"

Of course not.  So I reread it in record time.  It's a late entry in the MacGregor series: Silhouette contemporaries about an extended Scottish-American family.  It didn't take me long to find similarities with real life personalities.  Ever wondered where La Nora gets her inspiration?  Let's see if any of these characters sound familiar (answers at the bottom):
  • A Gaelic patriarch who lives is a grand estate in Hyannis, Massachusetts, and whose son becomes president;
  • The presidential son marries a woman with a French surname;
  • Her family is connected to a recluse cartoonist who specializes in cutting (but funny) political satire;
  • His daughter (heroine of The Perfect Neighbor) has a comic strip of her own about a young woman in the Big City -- and even gets a TV deal based on the comic strip;
  • Her hero is an award-winning playwright whose most famous play is made into a movie.
Okay, I make that: Joseph Kennedy, Jacqueline Bouvier; Garry Trudeau; Lea Thompson's character in the TV show Caroline in the City; and -- David Mamet? Sam Shepard?  I will admit that last one is less clear -- Shepard is better looking but Mamet is prickly the way Preston McQuinn was.

And that's just from one book.  Oh, and there was a snippet of dialogue, which I won't bother transcribing, between Cybil (the heroine) and her BFF that was pure Seinfeld.  BFF asks Cybil how her & Preston's first kiss rated on a scale from 1 to 10.  Cybil answers that there is no scale, and the BFF suddenly sounds like a female George Constanza when she says, "You got the fabled No Scale?!" and then riffs on that theme for quite a while.  (What a concept: a romance novel about nothing.)

The whole book was like that -- it had its own quirky charm, like opening a short-term time capsule from the 1990s.  I may have to read other MacGregor books (out of the library, of course) just to see if they were all that kicky.

BTW:  The Kennedy Compound, in real life, looks like this:



But based on Roberts' description, Castle MacGregor might have been a grayer stone version of this:

1 comment:

  1. Haha she had to get the heavy British Regency description in somewhere! lol

    ReplyDelete