Confessions of a Nervous Shiksa
Tracy McArdle
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Buy *Confessions of a Nervous Shiksa* online

Confessions of a Nervous Shiksa

Tracy McArdle
Downtown Press
368 pages
August 2005
rated 3 of 5 possible stars
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"Lex, life is not like the movies."

"It can be," I argued.

"No, life is life, Lex. That's why there are movies." Alexis Manning has a dream job as vice president of publicity for a movie studio. Since movies have been her obsession for almost her entire life, the job is a perfect fit. What Alexis doesn't much care for are actors, and that poses a problem since her bartender fiancé David (or "Deke", as he's otherwise known) aspires to act. But he true sticking point in their relationship isn't acting, it's religion. While visiting Alexis's family for Christmas, Jewish David has an attack of conscience. Although neither David nor Alexis are particularly devoted to their faith, David decides he will only marry Alexis if she converts to Judaism.

Alexis knows that if her life were a movie, things would work out perfectly. But she knows that things don't always have ideal ending, so she's determined to make the best of it. She also understands that a conversion wouldn't be for the right reasons and ends the relationship. New men appear on the horizon, and Alexis's sister (going through a breakup of her own) decides to move in with Alexis. Is there hope for a movie-addicted woman to find true love?

Confessions of a Nervous Shiksa is entertaining, although a bit short on plot. The day-to-day life of a movie publicist gets bogged down--after the third or fourth copy of Alexis's call sheet, it gets a little boring, especially when extraneous details about things not central to the storyline kept popping up. The core reality of dealing with a breakup is dealt with in a fresh way, but the remainder of the book was slow going. It is fairly light on romance, since moving through the breakup takes the majority of the time.

If you're interested in movie publicity, Confessions of a Nervous Shiksa has plenty of "insider" information. Tracy McArdle spent twelve years in television and film publicity, so she knows what she's writing about. For average readers, however, the details are tedious and don't allow the rest of the storyline to be as developed as well as it could be. If you love movies, Confessions of a Nervous Shiksa is worth reading for the movie references and life applications alone. As a movie buff I enjoyed reading about my favorite films and found a few additional ones to watch. Glimpses of humor and fun characters add up to an overall delightful reading experience.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at © Melissa Parcel, 2005

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