Patricia Ann Reagan, better known as Patti Davis, has always been the rebellious daughter. Soon her story will be literature.
Davis, the 32-year-old daughter of Ronald and Nancy Reagan, is cowriting a novel, titled "Homefront," with Maureen Strange Foster. Crown plans to publish the book in March with the support of a 10-city publicity tour and, sources said, "a major ad campaign."
The story, which was Davis' idea, sounds familiar:
The setting is the Vietnam era and after. The main character is Beth, the daughter of Robert and Harriet Canfield. Through the course of the novel, Robert Canfield runs for and holds two public offices: the governership of California and the presidency. Robert Canfield is a conservative. His daughter is not.
The plot revolves around Beth's opposition to the war and her personal and poltical conflicts with her parents. When Beth falls in love with a Marine named Greg, who eventually goes to fight in Vietnam, her views of the war and of her parents are tested.
"I don't know Patti that well, but Beth Canfield sounds a lot like her," said Betty Prashker, editor in chief of Crown. "They're both thoughtful, sensitive, attractive, courageous . . . It's not a bitter book."
Davis, who lives in Santa Monica, Calif., with her husband, yoga instructor Paul Grilley, declined to comment on the book, as did her coauthor. Foster is the author of two novels, "Beginners" and "Sparks."
Prashker said the manuscript was nearly finished and "is a true collaboration. Maureen is not a ghostwriter. Patti is doing a good deal of the writing herself. She hasn't written much prose before, but she's written poetry, and some of the poems are included in the novel."
Patti Davis, who uses her mother's maiden name, has worked as an actress, with appearances on "Fantasy Island," "The Toni Tennille Show" and "The Love Boat." After her father was elected to the White House, Davis said his success had done "wonders" for her acting career.
She lived for a year with a guitarist of the Eagles rock group in the late '70s, recorded her own album two years ago and has taken political positions on nuclear power and abortion contrary to the president's.
She once said, "The fact that my father is president does not, I think, take away my rights as a citizen."
Patti Davis is not the first first daughter to write a novel. Margaret Truman is the author of a number of best-selling murder mysteries. None, however, was written while her father was in office.