Not Working

Not Working

A Novel

Book - 2016
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"First there was Helen Fielding's Bridget Jones; then Allison Pearson's I Don't Know How She Does It; and now Lisa Owen's Not Working to capture the point of view of of a young generation trying not to have it all, but to figure out what it all means. Claire has just resigned from her job without a plan - she is pleased and anxious, but her family and friends don't seem to understand. Before too long she pushes away her safe, steady, brain surgeon boyfriend, and her mother stops talking to her. Claire navigates, observes, and comments on the emotions and minutiae of day to day life as only someone without the distractions of a regular routine can. This is a story of self discovery, packed with wry humor and told in sparkling vignettes"-- Provided by publisher.
"In the tradition of Helen Fielding's Bridget Jones's Diary and Allison Pearson's I Don't Know How She Does It comes a wise and laugh-out-loud debut novel that captures a young generation trying not to have it all, but to figure out what it all means. Claire has just resigned from her job without a plan for her next move. As she struggles to explain herself to friends and family, she experiences the emotions and minutiae of day-to-day life as only someone without the distractions of a regular routine can--and discovers what happens when she seeks true purpose in life"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York :, The Dial Press,, 2016
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780812988819
Branch Call Number: FICTION Owens 2016
Characteristics: 243 pages ; 22 cm


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SPL_Stephanie Aug 04, 2016

A full review of this title can be found under Summary. First published in the Stratford Gazette in August 2016.


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SPL_Stephanie Aug 04, 2016

In latest novel, Not Working, Lisa Owens explores the initial excitement and subsequent boredom that paradoxically comes from being unemployed. Without warning, Claire Flannery quits her job and embarks on a personal quest to find herself and her vocation. Days quickly turn into weeks as the quirky thirty-something character starts to spiral into a sea of worries.

Claire’s loved ones start to question her life decisions as she swaps her business casual apparel for stained sweat pants and her morning coffee for an overflowing glass of pinot grigio. One by one, her closest relationships falter as her wine-induced antics leave her mother, boyfriend, and friends frustrated by her clumsy behaviour. Stumbling around the streets of London, she suddenly finds herself unemployed, broke, and without hope of finding her true passion. Readers are given front row seats to Claire’s journey in mending her relationships, finding her true calling, and searching for herself.

In this self-deprecating and humorous novel, Lisa Owens wittily chronicles the minute details that compose everyday life. Instead of generic chapters, the author separates the story with quirky subheadings relating to the somewhat mundane task that Claire fixates about. Several of these entries are entitled ‘Tube’ and provide a belly-laughing perspective of the London subway system.
Filled with sarcasm and humour, the author crafts a flawed yet loveable character that is strung together by the questionable qualities we all possess. This page turner will make you giggle and snort as you relatedly nod along with Claire’s continual breakdowns. You’ll be cheering the female protagonist as she endeavors to reclaim her life, while also shuddering at her drunken outbursts.

If you enjoy the quirkiness of Helen Fielding or the sarcastic style of Jojo Moyes, you will definitely enjoy this heartwarming read.


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