Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sunday Salon: My Own Personal Soap Opera by Libby Malin

Growing up I occasionally watched “The Doctors” and “As the World Turns” with my Mom. Later in life I got hooked on ABC's three soap operas for a short time. So when I heard the title of Libby Malin’s latest release, I knew I had to read it.

“My Own Personal Soap Opera” is the story of Frankie McNally, the head writer for “Lust for Life,” a daytime soap. Frankie has a good life, but she tends to be a little insecure thanks to her lousy ex-husband, Brian. She continuously searches for management books online, but never gets around to buying them.

Frankie’s life begins to get more confusing than the soap she’s writing for. First, her ex has written a novel with a character based on her. Next, the soap’s ratings are dropping. The show’s main advertiser sends in a dashing older man, Victor Pendergrast, with management skills to help pull the show out of the slumps. Meanwhile, the show's hot leading man, Luke Blade, is busy trying to seduce her. She has a secretary that always seems to be gone when she needs her. To top off the chaos, a jewel thief begins copying the show’s storyline.

While Frankie tries to work through her developing feelings for both Victor and Luke, she has to deal with the public’s increasing interest in the thief’s storyline, thanks to the real criminal. Ratings begin to increase but Frankie feels they should cut the thief plot out of the story before someone is hurt.

The growing attraction between Frankie and Victor will keep you spellbound. As the two fight their feelings for each other, they also battle their own inner demons of insecurity.

Author Libby Malin pulls in the character of Victor’s matriarch aunt who’s starting to lose the distinction between reality and Crestview, the home of the Lust for Life characters. The tender moments between Victor and his Aunt Gussie create a heart for this storyline. I say this because most of us remember watching soaps with family members and fun times we shared, much as the characters in this story do.

The antics of the show's writers and the lengths Luke will go will have you laughing, sometimes even out loud. Among the ups and downs of writing a soap opera and dealing with real life, the reader is reminded of the mysterious thief. Clues are peppered among the plot, but the mystery isn’t revealed until right at the end.

You don’t have to be a soap opera fan to enjoy this book. My Own Personal Soap Opera shows that life can be funnier and, in some cases, more unbelievable than a television show. Once you begin this adventure, you won’t be able to quit until you reach the end. If you are a soap fan, you’ll never view your show the same way again. From beginning to end, this is a delightful read.

My Own Personal Soap Opera by Libby Malin, Sourcebooks Landmark, @2010, ISBN: 9781402229428, Paperback, 336 pages

FTC Full Disclosure - This book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.


  1. Mason - Thanks for this review. I always think it's interesting when there's a "double-plot," and having a real jewel thief operating at the same time as the one in the show's plot seems like a very clever twist. I like "backstage looks" at different industries, too.

  2. Don't we all live our own personal soap operas? I enjoyed your review. The double plot is an intriguing aspect to the novel.

    Have an interesting weekend, Roland

  3. Oh, the soap opera world would have so much fodder to write about! Thanks for this review.


    Mystery Writing is Murder

  4. I recently saw another favorable review for this book!

  5. Sounds like a character with a soap opera life writing for a soap opera, which, of course, would be ripe for lots of action and adventure!

    Straight From Hel

  6. This book sounds like a good read, so I just popped over and added it to the B&N order I'm putting together today. Sometimes a story line grabs you. Nice review!

  7. Margot, the double-plot in this book is both suspenseful and funny at times.

    Roland, we do indeed like our own personal soap opera. Have a nice weekend too.

    Elizabeth, there are days I don't think soap opera writers would believe the way things go for me. :)

    Diane, it is an enjoyable book.

    Helen, there is a lot of action and adventure combined in the book.

    Patricia, you won't be disappointed when you get your book. It's a great read.

  8. This sounds like a fun read. I'm adding it to my TBR list.

  9. Thanks. This sounds just complicated enough and real enough to be really intriguing.

  10. Excellent review. Thanks - sounds like a winner. :)

  11. Love the review, looks like a good read.

  12. That sounds like a really fun book! :)

  13. Ingrid, you won't be disappointed by this read.

    Ann, enjoyed visiting and thanks for stopping by here.

    Sheila, it is intriguing. I caught myself trying to figure out what the characters were going to do before they did it.

    Marvin, thanks for the kind words.

    Ann, thank you for the kind words too.

    Jemi, it is a fun book. There's parts that will cause you to laugh out loud.


I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.