Off the Shelf

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 09 January, 1993, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 09 January, 1993, 12:00am

THE STARS SHINE DOWN By Sidney Sheldon (HarperCollins, $195) KING of the mini-series, Mr Sheldon has come up with more TV fodder in this tale of Lara Cameron, a property tycoon who seems to have the world at her feet - Sheldon-speak for she's got a shady past.

Lara is the daughter of a drunken, whoring Scotsman - we know he's Scottish because he's always saying ''och mon''. But Lara rises above it all and soon learns to drop names, and designer labels, with the best of them.

STORMY PETREL By Mary Stewart (Coronet, $70) MS Stewart has set this on the remote Hebridean island of Moila, and her descriptions of the wildlife and peace there are moving. The story though is non-existent. Rose Fenemore, a writer, rents a cottage on the island and is unexpectedly visited there one night by two men. One is good, the other bad and it's quickly evident which is which.

Everyone does exactly what is expected of their character. . . and nothing really happens.

ACTS OF FAITH By Erich Segal (Arrow, $61) THE writer who reduced the world to blubber with his super-weepie Love Story now turns his attention to religion.

The story spans 25 years in the lives of Daniel, a Jewish boy who is set to lead the community of orthodox Jews; Deborah, his suppressed sister who wants more from life than to be a dutiful wife; and Timothy, an orphan destined to become a very big cheese in the Catholic church.

When their paths cross they each have to decide whether religious fervour is stronger than human love. SNIPPETS: New out in paperback is Gloria Steinem's bestseller, Revolution from Within: A Book on Self-Esteem (Corgi $114). Feminist and co-founder of Ms magazine, Ms Steinem reveals how she regained her own self-esteem by returning through meditation to her childhood.

The life of Meyer Lansky, the man known as the Mafia's banker, comes under scrutiny in Robert Lacey's compelling book Little Man (Arrow, $74). Mr Lacey disentangles the bloody workings of organised crime and reveals how Lansky accumulated a US$300 million fortune.