Whether or not author Laurie Graff intended to include an unnamed yet blatant element in her third novel, The Shiksa Syndrome, she most certainly did.
The anonymous component is neither an animal nor a human, but its presence is as palpable as a summer fruit salad. Or, perhaps, as sour as a freshly-picked lemon.
You see, the fly on the proverbial wall in Graff ’s novel is stereotyping. Of Jews. By Jews. By a Jew who pretends to be a non-Jew, or, in Aimee Albert’s case, pretends to be a shiksa.
Set in Manhattan, the book stereotypes single Jewish women as spoiled, demanding brats who care for nothing more than the size of their diamonds. Undoubtedly, there is truth in that stereotype, but Graff injects Albert’s self-deprecating humor into the mix, softening the stifling stereotypes that otherwise lead to sarcasm.
Does Aimee-cum-shiksa manage to capture her all-too perfect Jewish boyfriend? If she does, is she destined to eat ham on white for the rest of her life or will she finally ‘fess up that she’s a Jewess, after all?
You won’t overtax any brain cells reading this novel, but you are very likely to be entertained.