My Life as an Extra


WOMEN'S FICTION:  Newly divorced Marla Goldberg is trying to find herself and where she fits in the world now. She put away her dream of being an actress long ago, but now that she is single, she wants to try to reach for it again. Along with looking for a job that is more than being an extra on set, she also starts to date again — but she isn’t successful at either attempt. Her family is unsupportive of her aspirations and desperately wants her to get out and date again, but after the dismal results of her attempts, Marla doesn’t know if she can ever really find the peace she’s looking for.

 This book is more like a diary or stream-of-consciousness essay about one woman’s sad and depressing life after her divorce. Because of this, there is no real plot, and while the author is talented at creating the setting and providing realistic details of being on a set as an extra, the sheer volume of details bog down the pacing.  Readers will be disappointed in the lack of romance or positive interactions with any man throughout the book, though Marla’s relationship with her co-workers was nicely done. Marla is a complicated character with a few shining moments as she begins to trust herself and her instincts for making positive life decisions, but she isn’t strong enough to make this story a page-turner. With a good editor to tighten the plot, story, and characters, this author’s gift with words could truly be showcased.

 Kate Campbell