The Valley of Olympus by Octavus Roy Cohen. D. Appleton (1929), 297 pp.
Larry Wycoff, a handsome and dedicated young lawyer from Alabama, holds only a minor post at his prestigious Los Angeles firm. Then his boss, Conrad Aikman, offers him an unusual assignment. Tyra Karlson, a gorgeous Swedish actress with prospects of a lucrative film career, needs to remain in the United States after her contract expires. One way for her to sidestep citizenship requirements is to marry an American and live with him for a year. Larry is deeply smitten as soon as he meets Tyra, so he readily agrees to the job. But he’ll have problems, since expressing his feelings won’t be part of the arrangement.
This novel, a puffed up version of a magazine serial, does very little with what was presumably a less familiar premise eighty years ago than it is today. The main characters, Larry and Tyra, are too righteous and too shallow to generate much interest. Very little happens for the first 200 pages, after which the setting moves to Alabama and some plot twists ensue. The story nonetheless ends exactly in the way that readers expect. Cohen never comments on Kyra’s motivating desire -- to replace a contract that pays her 100 times as much as the average American worker with one that pays 400 times as much. If he had, the book might warrant a tiny modern audience.