The Diamond Lane by Karen Karbo
Reluctantly back home in L.A. after 16 years in Africa, documentary filmmaker Mouse FitzHenry longs for the harsh, teeming jungle life her lens took in so lovingly. Wrenched Stateside by a family emergency, with her longtime boyfriend/collaborator in tow, Mouse is instantly beleaguered by a past she’d leapt continents to escape. In this rollicking novel, Karbo explores familiar subjects — the phony glitz of Hollywood, the fairy tale lure of love and marriage — with precision, compassion, and humor. Mouse’s paramour, Tony, a Brit who calls her “poppet,” adores L.A. and all that it can do for him and his screenplay. Mouse, meanwhile, caving in to maternal pressure, agrees to marry Tony and then proceeds, with the help of an old flame, to film around her unwitting fiancé a documentary on the entire process of their betrothal called Wedding March. A flawless, page-turning story emerges as Mouse and Tony manage — often with hilarious subterfuge — to keep their projects secret from one another. With its laugh-aloud moments and a cast of brilliantly drawn characters, this is a tale to treasure.