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Temporary Insanity    by Leslie Carroll order for
Temporary Insanity
by Leslie Carroll
Order:  USA  Can
Avon, 2004 (2004)

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* *   Reviewed by Melissa Parcel

Alice Finnegan has spent years trying to make it big in the acting world. To make ends meet, she takes a variety of secretarial temp jobs. After a name-calling incident forces Alice to quit working for her lawyer uncle, she signs on with a high powered law firm, summarizing documents.

On her first day she meets a handsome lawyer, Eric, and their romance heats up quickly. But love turns sour when he chooses his career over fighting for their relationship. Mix the lack of acting jobs with her tepid social life, and what's a girl to do? At least Alice has her spunky grandmother, a former showgirl and the only one with Alice's best interests at heart. Will Alice ever land the acting job of her dreams, or is she stuck in the temp world forever?

This is a touching new chick lit novel. Fresh and funny, Alice never takes herself too seriously, but acts thoughtfully. Her relationship with her grandmother is heartwarming and adds depth to the story. Alice's struggle to find acting jobs is quite realistically portrayed, as is her mugging experience. Although there are stereotypical aspects (such as the New York city setting and the gay male friend) the romance storyline is not central to the plot and actually concludes in a surprising way. Family and friends are endearingly foremost.

A little more character development and exploration of some of the minor characters' issues would have rounded out the storyline. Yet Carroll writes with the deftness of someone who has been there and knows what she's talking about. This elevates Temporary Insanity above the general chick lit crowd.

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