by Karen Karbo
Most workplace novels written by women are about the challenges of juggling work and motherhood. I’m all for this; I could write my own workplace novel about the time I latched my infant daughter onto one boob, churned out a magazine piece that was overdue, and contracted an eyeball popping case of mastitis that landed me in the ER. And that’s just the opening scene.
What I adore about Jillian Medoff’s smart new novel This Could Hurt, is that it’s about work families. You know, the people we spend most of our loves with – the colleagues, frenemies, enemies, and eccentric bosses who have our backs and make our lives hell.
Medoff made a bold and radical choice in choosing her narrator. Rosie Guerrero is the head of HR at a consumer research firm that’s been hit hard by the economy. Rosie is not a still lithe 39-year-old (publishing wisdom dictates that no one will read a novel if the main character is female and over 40) but an accomplished, competent put together sixty something who is beginning to feel her age. Radical move, Jillian Medoff!
What I love most about the book is Medoff’s ability to both empathize with her characters while also sending up the oft-times ludicrous work that consumes the life of the everyday office worker. The book is hilarious and surprisingly sweet, and comes complete with organizational flow charts. If you have a job, or have ever had one, or ever hope to have one, This Could Hurt is for you!
Karen Karbo is the author of fourteen award-winning novels, memoirs and works of non-fiction including the best-selling “Kick Ass Women” series.