*Thank you Flatiron Books for this ARC!*
This was the first ARC I ever requested directly from a publisher… and I’m so glad I did.
My Synopsis: Four women learn their misogynistic boss is next in line to be CEO, and decide to put a stop to it.
Pairs best with: TBH, I totally cheated on the “snack” part of this pic. But what could this pair well with other than adorable babies? A glass of wine. Because nothing screams “girl power” like a glass of rosé.
This book is everything. It had so much potential and so much going on, and it succeeded at every turn. I loved each character, even with their flaws. It was by far the most relatable book I’ve ever read.
I was hooked. I laughed. I sent pictures of lines to my friends. I even got teary at parts. It’s insanely timely, both in the world, and in my life at the moment. I absolutely loved this book and highly recommend it!
Extended Review: *SPOILERS BELOW*
Guys. If you couldn’t tell already, I loved this book. It was the most relatable book I’ve read, so this post will be a bit personal. I just couldn’t help relating everything to personal experiences, so here we go!
This book is so applicable to the #metoo movement, which is exactly what all the reviews said. But as a 29 year old woman in the corporate world, especially one who just had a baby about 2 weeks ago, this book really spoke to me on a personal level. I don’t work in a legal department, but I always thought the environment of a public accounting firm in Manhattan was similar to practicing law. Even though the firm I work at is technically more women than men, the actual billable staff are heavily male and it can be difficult being a woman in that world.
As a new mom, I’ve spent an absurd amount of time in the last 9 months thinking about my the future of my career. I’m also moving in a week, which will change my 20 minute walk to work into an hour commute. The combination of these two things is making me question pretty much every decision I’ve ever made in my career, along with where I will be going forward. Commuting an hour and working full time while trying to be a caregiver to my daughter is something I have been already struggling with in theory – and I haven’t even had to do it yet. If I stay at my current position, I will need to have some type of flex schedule, which is allowed at my company, but of course is looked down upon by the all male management of the firm. My direct boss is a woman, but everyone above her is male. It makes for a difficult situation where there appear to be options, but the system is flawed.
I heavily connected with Grace because of the new mom status. Especially because I was reading this while I was feeding the baby at nights (though I fed from a bottle… so I couldn’t relate to the breast feeding part!). While Sloane was used to and able to balance work and her daughter, Grace was new to it and struggled. I’m still on maternity leave (like I said, it’s been 2 weeks), but I fully anticipate a similar struggle come October.
This leads me to the few times the book mentioned “having it all.” This is such an interesting concept to me in general. When you hear that, you think of societies definition of “all,” but I’m a firm believer that everyone should define that for themselves. Whether it’s having a career and family life, or staying home to raise your kids, there shouldn’t be pressure to do everything at once. Anyway, I digress. Back to the book!
Each chapter started off with little blurb about how it is for working women. And I. ATE. THOSE. UP. I took pictures of blurbs and sent them to friends. I laughed out loud. I don’t know the last time I laughed out loud at a book. They were just all so true and so honest. Why yes Chandler Baker, you’re right, I DID waste my entire weekend watching Jane the Virgin. And yes, I DID read Lean In, and you’re right, it didn’t help my career. All the little snippets of information really helped build the story and sucked me in.
Obviously, some things were less relatable. I probably would not actually push my boss off the roof. But I also won’t say I haven’t thought about it!
Also understandable – the cliqueiness (not a word) of the women in the story. I loved all of the characters, despite their flaws, but it was interesting to me how a new woman joined the company and they instantly tried to get her to join “their side.” To me, it seemed them taking Katherine under their wings was them trying to win her over. To have another ally. It didn’t seem innocent.
Okay lets talk about the BAD list. This was so creative. I don’t live in Dallas, but I live in Manhattan which is its own beast. I could see a list like this circulating a college, and it isn’t so far fetched to think about it circulating a city either.
Sexual harassment. A very prevalent theme throughout the book. I was surprised in the end to find out that Ardie had also been raped by Ames, and I liked that in the end it was her and Katherine that had ultimately killed him. Katherine’s story line was frustrating, but rang all too true. And to be honest, I get where she was coming from. Why let an incident of something that happened TO her define her? If she could use it to elevate herself, why only let it hurt her and bring her down? I wish she didn’t have to do it at the expense of the other ladies, but I understand not wanting to relive that over and over for the public just to get back at a man who was already dead.
Rosalita. I figured out early on, but only once the hints started, that Ames was her sons dad. Reading that part and her confessions is what drove me to a few tears (but we can also blame the postpartum hormones. I know Grace would feel me on that). I loved that she was so brave and stuck with the women to help bring Ames down. I’m a sucker for strong female characters.
There was so much feminism and girl power in the book that I can’t even write about everything I loved. From Ardie and Sloane sticking up for Sloane’s daughter to the law firm they build at the end and everything in between. This book was chock full of great moral lessons and positive messages.
Listen. None of these women were perfect. They were cheaters, they were single moms, they struggled, some of them were kind of murderers. But they were real and honest and raw, and by sticking together they were able to make a big change.
I can’t wait for a day when a book like this seems like something of the past. When the idea of women in the work place being treated differently than their male counterparts is historical fiction rather than contemporary. That the thought of women who accuse a man of sexual harassment aren’t bribed by a higher paycheck or have their authenticity questioned by other women.
If women stick together, like Ardie, Grace, Sloane, and Rosalita did, maybe we can make that happen! Until then, we have books like this to get us through.
If you can’t tell, I highly recommend this. Keep an eye out for it in July 2019!!