Please Bravo, don’t make this entire season about whether or not Carole had a ghostwriter. We viewers barely survived Beverly Hills and the suitcase that didn’t have tabloids in it. I’m in this until the bitter end, so don’t make me find a ghostwriter for myself. It’s bad enough that I have to do my own editing, and at around 1AM even that starts to derail.
Carole and Aviva meet for lunch and begin by talking about who is copying whose eyeglasses. Carole’s a bit defensive as she about her designed friend during last season, but Aviva has found something to go after that’s even closer to Carole’s heart. Aviva is writing a memoir which she says is a lot like writing emails. She also tells Carole that she wrote an essay for “Chicken Soup For the Soul” which Carole says was actually a letter Aviva wrote to her mother. Carole feels that Aviva is undermining the craft she’s honed over the years – the story telling and finding one’s voice. Aviva amps it up a little and asks her if she had a ghostwriter for “What Remains” or did she write it herself. Carole says that she did write it herself, that’s what she does – she’s a writer.
Aviva meets Ramona at a liquor store to pick out wine for Aviva’s housewarming party and tells Ramona that she wrote “Be nice to Ramona” 100 times on her way there. Then they start talking about the lunch conversation and Aviva tells Ramona that she was looking for guidance from Carole. She also says that Carole shopped her novel to Aviva’s publishing house but they took a pass because it needed major overhauling and that it would take eight months to rework. She drops the name Bill Whittle (or Whipple or Whitman) as the one who co-wrote Carol’s book. I rummaged around and found my copy of “What Remains”. In the acknowledgements, Carole thanks Bill Whitworth “the ‘Nijinsky’ of editors, whose endless counsel kept me focused and sane; who introduced me to the jazz trumpet, the perfect hard-boiled egg and the power of a well-placed comma. And who made me feel like one of the ‘big boys’, if only for a moment.” That sounds like the proper tribute to and the correct description of an editor. Carole acknowledges dozens of other people too but I don’t think they wrote the book for her. Asking for counsel and bouncing ideas off someone does not mean she didn’t write it. Truman Capote relied on Harper Lee for all sorts of advice but I wouldn’t dare suggest she was his ghostwriter for “In Cold Blood.” But every author will readily and gratefully give credit to their editors.
On the other side of town, Carole is meeting with Kristen and Heather to tell her side of the story. She’s upset that Aviva put her in the position of having to defend her writing career. She says that Aviva never had one and now she writes a book in a hot minute. Okay, I get that – it seems as if almost every housewife suddenly finds they have a burning desire, never realized before, to write a book or record a song. Aviva’s the latest and I’m sure she won’t be the last. Kristen says that she’s going to wait and see how this all plays out. Smart move by the new girl.
Before more of this argument takes place, Kristen and her husband have Heather, her husband and their two children over to their apartment. The two women talk about what they want for their kids, especially concerning some health issues. We know about Heather’s son’s problems but Kristen is worried about her daughter’s inability to walk at 17 months, She’s been fitted with braces to help her out and Heather tells her that she understands. Heather also tells Kristen how an organ donor saved Jax’s life. It was nice – two mothers sharing and worrying, just like any other moms.
It’s moving day for the Dreschers and Harry stops by with Harrison. He tells his ex-wife that he’s having a dinner date with Sonja hoping to rekindle their romance. Aviva wants to know if they’re f** buddies. Sonja is getting ready for her date by getting a spray tan in her bedroom. Kristen drops by to get one, too and strips down to her panties while Sonja takes inventory of every tattoo and flawless inch of Kristen’s body. It was a little weird. Sonja wants to know what happened between Carole and Aviva and Kristen tells her that Carol had always said that she wrote the book at a typewriter over the course of five years. Sonja thinks that Carole should just congratulate Aviva.
Heather and Aviva meet for mani/pedis and so that Heather can play Inspector Clouseau. She’s going to interrogate Aviva about her memoir and get to the bottom of this ghostwriter mystery. The whole scene was kind of funny and Heather would never make a very good detective – subtlety is not her forte. She asks Aviva what her book is about, who her target audience is and what her “hook” is. Then she says Aviva must spend a lot of time with her ghostwriter. Oh, Heather, you’re going to have to do better than that. Aviva says she can write. Heather says all she reads are biographies, especially when they’re about rock and roll, and they were all written by ghostwriters. Stop Heather, you might as well say “Carole sent me, now ‘fess up.” Aviva then tells her about “ghost Bill” and says that a book takes a village. That may be Aviva, but, more often than not, only one of the villagers will be breastfeeding.
Sonja and Harry go out for dinner and the first thing Harry wants to know is what Sonja is doing later. They haven’t even ordered drinks and he’s already planning dessert. He tells her her boobs look perfect and Sonja, our dear, sweet, aging coquette, explains it’s all about the bra. She tells Harry about her many projects which, beside the toaster oven and home goods, now includes plans for a line of lingerie. Harry tells her that she should finish one – any one, but finish it. I’m with Harry because I can’t stand watching Sonja using a Sharpie to spruce up her scuffed Chanel bags. They flirt back and forth and whisper some not so sweet nothings before making their way back to Sonja’s for the night – or at least for a couple of hours.
It’s time for the housewarming party and Heather and Carole are introduced to Amanda Sanders who is a stylist or lifestyle coach or Bravo-paid friend of Aviva’s. Her exact role is a little confusing if you’ve seen her tweets. It looks like she’s auditioning for the part of “friend of Housewife.” Harry and Sonja show up, find themselves in the master bedroom and act as if they want to pick up where they left off the night before. After all, Harry gave the bed to Aviva as a wedding present when they were married, so he has a lot invested in it. Aviva interrupts their moment and is soon joined by Ramona and Mario, then Reid. All they needed was a bowl and sets of keys and this party might have taken a very different direction. When that group breaks up, Aviva corners Kristen and Ramona and reiterates her position on the Carole lunch conversation. Kristen says that she 150% certain Carole wrote her book but Aviva says that Carole was condescending. Ramona says that having your name on a book means nothing. That’s true, if you’re in the Housewives world of writing. Aviva delivers her “it takes a village” line again.
Carol wants to have a one on one with Aviva and the two go off to talk, away from the party guests. Carol starts by telling Aviva all of the things she’s heard from the others and wants to know where she’s going with it all. Aviva says that Carol was condescending. According to her, the word on the street is that “What Remains” was written by “Bill”. Carol is getting a little shrill now and says that Aviva doesn’t know what she’s talking about. Aviva counters with “my publishing house told me they passed on your book.” She asks her,” Who do you think you are, John Grisham?” Carole is now past hysteria and tells Aviva that she’s nothing and never did anything outside the home and doesn’t understand. Aviva tells Carole that it sounds like “You’re up here and I’m down there”. Carole wonders if maybe Kelly Bensimon is her ghostwriter and then tells Aviva there was a bidding war for her book. Those are some low blows from both sides of the argument.
This isn’t going to end well unless they can give each other some credit for what they do. Carole said, “Imitation is not the sincerest form of flattery. Flattery is the sincerest form of flattery.” So these two women should put an end to their competition. Carole needs to understand that Aviva is a wife and mother, and anyone will tell you that’s hard enough. Aviva’s book, no matter who wrote it, is going to go the way most Housewives’ books go – with any luck, a week or two on the New York Times bestseller list and then straight to half-price bin. Aviva has to give Carole her due as a writer who has a talent and a gift and has been at it a lot longer than she has. Maybe Aviva shouldn’t have attacked Carole’s memoir. It seems even worse, considering the heartbreaking subject matter. Last season, Carole gave her new book a baby shower, comparing the process to giving birth, and she makes it very clear that her writing is all she has. Aviva should give her that much and just drop the stupid ghostwriter thing, once and for all. Carole has to smooth her own defensive feathers and Aviva has to knock off the passive-aggressive digs, but I don’t think Bravo is going to let that happen.
Ladies, just one more favor. Stay off Twitter – you look ridiculous.