Best Enemies Hardcover – Apr 6 2004
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From Publishers Weekly
Amy Sherman is pretty; Tara Messer is a beauty. Amy has a nice Manhattan apartment; Tara's suburban Tudor castle boasts an actual turret. Amy was engaged to Stuart Lasher, who took maid of honor Tara to bed and then to the altar. Now Tara has chronicled her perfect lifestyle in a book called Simply Beautiful, about to be published by Lowry and Trammell-where her editor plans to make her "the next Martha Stewart, without the baggage" and where Amy is publicity director. Can you spell delicious conflict? Heller (Lucky Stars) goes for the laughs and gets them, but there's more here than meets the funny bone. Just when the reader is ready to kill the perfidious Tara (perhaps by beating her to death with accessories and garnishes), Heller switches out of Amy's point of view and into Tara's. It turns out Tara's a real person, too. And she's in trouble. It seems she did Amy a favor by stealing Stuart, who grabs every passing ass and may bring down the family business with a fake caviar scheme. And it isn't Tara who's pregnant with Stuart's baby. Meanwhile, in another switcheroo, Amy's got a great romance budding with Tony Stiles, the gorgeous mystery author. Of course, they're only pretending to pretend to be in love-Amy to save face (she told Tara she was engaged) and Tony to research relationships-and things are going swimmingly. Though the happy ending is a sure thing, getting there is fabulous fun. Heller makes a familiar story read as brand new, thanks to a rich humanity abetted by smart dialogue, zippy pacing and all-around craft.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Heller writes fast-moving, witty, often best-selling novels about contemporary women and their combative but loving relationships. In her latest, Amy Sherman and Tara Messer, lifelong best friends, are now all grown up and living in New York City. There has always been some friction in their relationship because Amy feels overshadowed by the extravagantly beautiful and elegant Tara (a lifestyle guru). When Amy catches her fiance, Stuart, in a passionate embrace with Tara two weeks before the wedding, she cuts both of them out of her life. The two eventually marry each other, while Amy focuses on her demanding job as publicity director for a major publisher. Four years later, Amy and Tara are thrown together when Amy is assigned to promote Tara's new book. The two women weave a web of deception, with Tara pretending her life is perfect (even though Stuart is a serial womanizer) while Amy invents a rich, handsome boyfriend, whom she then has to produce. Heller's fans will be waiting to get their hands on this highly entertaining read. Kathleen Hughes
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Inside This Book(Learn More)
Two weeks before I was to be married in front of a hundred and fifty guests on the lawn of a precious little country inn in Connecticut, I caught my fiance in bed with another woman. Read the first page
Front Cover | Copyright | Excerpt | Back Cover
Top Customer Reviews
But . . . there's something about it that bothered me. The characters, particularly the satellite characters, are banal (the gay assistant, the well-heeled boss, the fast-talking editor--even the stud-muffin mystery writer), and the plot is contrived and often predictable. I stayed with it because I loved the voice of Amy. She was honest-in spite of being a first class liar-but she lets the readers in on all her secrets and this makes her endearing.
While it seems other reviewers liked the switching perspectives between the two friends/enemies, Amy and Tara, so much more time is dedicated to Amy that she is the true voice of the book and Tara remains a caricature. Tara's sections are like a tribute to equal time, rather than equal time. And she is as repulsive as she's meant to be. Can't understand why Amy would want to be friends with her at all, let alone "best friends."
Overall, I give it three and half stars and recommend the book as fun entertainment. Thank you Jane Heller. I look forward to reading your other work as I think you're a gifted, spirited writer.
From the author of "I'm Living Your Dream Life" and "The Things I Wish I'd Said," McKenna Publishing Group.
To make matters worse, Tara writes a potentially successful book about living the beautiful life and sells it to Amy's publisher. Amy is forced to work as Tara's publicist, although the very thought of seeing Tara frequently makes Amy sick to her stomach. In addition, Amy needs to find a guy who is willing to play the part of her fiancé.
"Best Enemies" is very funny, but it has some serious elements, as well. Heller perfectly captures the importance of female friendships. Although women can sometimes be petty and jealous, they also share their most private thoughts with their friends, and they rely upon one another for advice and support. Although Amy and Tara are now at each other's throats, they cannot forget that for many years they meant a great deal to one another.
Heller cleverly splits the book between Amy's and Tara's points of view. We learn that each woman has her imperfections, her insecurities, and her secrets, and that they both share the blame for keeping their enmity alive.Read more ›
Best friends Amy Sherman and Tara Messer are now the worst of enemies after Amy catches her fiancé, Stuart Lasher, in bed with Tara. While Amy had always been the thoughtful, hardworking plain Jane, Tara was the beautiful, confident, homecoming queen. Losing her fiance to the one woman whose shadow she had always lived in was devastating to Amy. She decided that focusing on her career in publishing and pushing the betrayal out of her mind would help her move on in life and in love.
However, years later, Amy, now a publicist for the large publishing house Lowery and Trammel, is unexpectedly reunited with Tara when she learns she has to publicize her new book, SIMPLY BEAUTIFUL. The theme of Tara's book is her perfect life with her perfect husband Stuart. Things could not get any worse for Amy until she lies to Tara about having moved on from the heartbreak with Stuart straight into the arms of a loving man who has now become her fiancé. Now, Amy not only has to willingly parade Tara around and turn SIMPLY BEAUTIFUL into a bestseller, but she also has to make a fiancé appear magically before Tara's perfectly beautiful, flawless face.
Amy tries to turn one of America's most reclusive mystery authors into her stand-in fiancé without him knowing of her complicated plan.Read more ›
Skip ahead four years. Tara is a popular publicist at a publishing company and Tara remains her beautiful self, married to Stuart. It is awkward for both when they bump into each other on the streets of New York after not speaking for years. Amy learns that she will be in charge of publicity for Tara's new book entitled Simply Beautiful - a Martha Stewart how to, if you will. With years of therapy, Amy has tried to put her best friend and fiancee's betrayal behind her. She's got to work with this woman for the sake of her job and reputation. Having to deal with Tara's Simply Beautiful marriage will push her to the limits, but not all is what it seems.
I love*love*love Jane Heller! I've been such a fan of her wacky & laugh out loud plots for years. I've even email'd her to share my praise. I will be honest & say that I almost gave up on Best Enemies. The first half is written as "Amy's version" of the past/present. As with everything, there's always two sides to each story. The second half details "Tara's version" which is more exciting. I wish that it would have come sooner in the book, but better late than never.
If you are a fan of Heller's, you will like Best Enemies although you will discover a more realistic plot versus some of her ingenious storylines that you may have enjoyed in the past.
Most recent customer reviews
This is my first Jane Heller book and I enjoyed it very much. The old saying "Oh what a tangled web we weave" really holds true with this story. Read morePublished on July 8 2004
Meet Amy and Tara... two best friends from way back. Each woman is pretending to have the life that would make the other jealous. Read morePublished on May 30 2004
Jane Heller is one of my favorite authors. She never disappoints, and this wonderful novel is proof. Read morePublished on April 27 2004 by Ellen b
Amy and Tara have been best friends ( or so they say) since they were younger back in highschool. One day as Amy is walking to work she bumps into Tara, the one who... Read morePublished on April 12 2004 by Ellen