Not Working

Not Working

eBook - 2016
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In the tradition of Jennifer Close's Girls in White Dresses comes a "a pin-sharp, utterly addictive debut" ( Vogue U.K.) told in vignettes that speak to a new generation not trying to have it all but hoping to make sense of it all.

"Everyone's been talking about this book. . . . Charming and funny, this read is simply delightful."-- Bustle

"A deadpan comic debut for the procrastination generation."-- The Guardian

Claire Flannery has just quit her office job, hoping to take some time to discover her real passion. The problem is, she's not exactly sure how to go about finding it. Without the distractions of a regular routine, Claire confronts the best and worst parts of herself: the generous, attentive part that visits her grandmother for tea and cooks special meals for her boyfriend, Luke, and the part that she feels will never measure up and makes regrettable comments after too many glasses of wine. What emerges is a candid, moving portrait of a clear-eyed heroine trying to forge her own way, a wholly relatable character whose imperfections and uncanny observations highlight what makes us all different and yet inescapably linked.

Praise for Not Working

"Ruefully funny . . . features a kind of millennial Bridget Jones whose red wine-and-TED Talk-fueled pursuit of a higher purpose in life leads to hard truths and hangovers." -- Vogue

"In this laugh-out-loud debut, Claire Flannery is a lost soul who quits her day job to discover her true passion. In taking a hard look at her own character, Claire finds that her loveable qualities are sometimes squashed by mistakes, like the evenings she blurts inappropriate remarks after too many glasses of wine. [Lisa] Owens's story is a smart, relatable and delicious debut." -- Harper's Bazaar

"It's no mean feat to fashion a novel out of the stuff of everyday life. . . . Fortunately, Owens is quite a writer. . . . Not Working works because there is lots going on beneath its placid, ordinary surface. . . . With this funny, serious debut, Lisa Owens has proved that she's one to watch." -- The New Statesman

"There are sharp observations about generational change, particularly on the topic of work. . . . The novel is a light read but it raises some timely issues. . . . A secure job with a future is not that easy to find, as Claire's comic and compelling tale serves to show. This book offers a form of catharsis for anyone who has felt that they are not quite doing their job right. . . . It is soothing to find you are not the only one noodling along in your career." -- Financial Times

"Stellar . . . [Owens has an] ability to take the potentially trite problem-of-the-privileged trope and deftly craft it into readable fun." -- Publishers Weekly

"Owens offers a millennial take on the traditional British chick-lit heroine. . . . Claire is a realistically awkward character who will appeal to readers looking for a less-angsty take on the new adult trend." -- Booklist

"A novel as insightful about the contemporary dilemmas facing young professionals as it is sharp, incisive and laugh-out-loud funny." -- The Observer

"Lots of people say they laugh out loud when they read a book they love. But in the case of Not Working, I really did laugh out loud, often and raucously." --Elisabeth Egan, author of A Window Opens

From the Hardcover edition.
Publisher: Dial Press,, 2016.
ISBN: 9780812988826
Branch Call Number: eBook
Characteristics: 1 online resource
text file, rda


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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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