Judith Krantz, author of ''Scruples,'' ''Princess Daisy'' and several other steamy novels, has written yet another page-turner.
But this book isn't about fictional socialites -- it's a tell-all about Krantz's own privileged life.
In "Sex and Shopping: The Confessions of a Nice Jewish Girl'' (St. Martin's, $25.95), Krantz writes in a down-to-earth voice as she shares her views and thoughts about various issues, discusses her anxieties, and delves into her distant relationship with her parents. About her mother, she writes: ''She was all three branches of our family government. There was no court of appeals.''
The well-behaved, wealthy Wellesley College graduate puts into perspective what it was like to grow up Jewish in America. She also contrasts Americans' views with those of others, particularly the French. While living in France in her early 20s, Krantz received a letter from her sister who insisted she ''knew absolutely that I couldn't do anything wrong, that I'd never sleep with a man if I weren't married. She was still living on American standard time.''
Krantz is shockingly honest and ingenious about her intimacies. Through several juicy asides, she offers excerpts from her novels and divulges how they were drawn from personal experience. She writes: ''It was not by accident that the blond Californian hero of 'Scruples' and 'Scruples Two' was named Peter Elliott. ... When I wrote 'Scruples' I borrowed far more from my own life than in any other novel I've written since then.''
This is a coming-of-age saga, one that is fun and entertaining and full of life's turns. It follows Krantz from a ''just-out-of the-egg girl'' to career woman, wife and mother.
Krantz believes in living life to the fullest.
''I can't begin to feel that the number 70 refers to me, but simple math strongly suggests that a baby girl born on Jan. 9, 1928, has a good chance of discovering that she's 70 in 1998.''
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