Chick lit is back, and in a good way.
Tina Fontana has a great job, at least to those looking in on the outside. She is the executive assistant to Robert Barlow, the head of a multinational media conglomerate. My thought immediately went to Rupert Murdoch, but who knows.
While Tina seems to be in a rather powerful position, and in theory she is, having the ear of the big boss, the truth of the matter is that she doesn’t make much more than a bank teller or a teacher. She loves her job but wishes for more.
After a confusing mix up, Tina ends up having to put several thousand dollars of her boss’s travel expenses on her few credit cards, maxing them out. The charges get reversed, but Tina had already put in the expense seeking reimbursement. When the check arrives, she is torn; she knows she should return it, but it just so happens to be the same amount as the balance of her student loans. In a frazzled moment, she deposits the check and pays off her debt.
Of course she gets caught, but instead of getting fired, she is blackmailed into paying off someone else’s student loans. Then, as it always does with blackmail, it just gets worse. Eventually, things comes to a head, with unexpected and unbelievable results.
It’s always fun to root for the underdog, and Perri did a good job turning a criminal act into a cause célèbre. This is a fast, fun read, sure to appeal to any woman who feels stuck in a job that doesn’t utilize her education, skills and ambition.
5/16 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™
THE ASSISTANTS by Camille Perri. G.P. Putnam’s Sons (May 3, 2016). ISBN 978-0399172540. 288p.