Not Working - Lisa Owens | ARC Review

9:54 AM
Pages: 256 pages, Paperback
Publication date: May 3, 2016
Publisher: The Dial Press
How I got the copy: Sent by the publisher (Penguin Random House Canada)
Rating: 4/5


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.

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.

I was very excited about Not Working from the moment I discovered the book. I was so eager; I reached out to the publisher if there were any copies for review. What intrigued me the most was how relatable this book could be to me. I felt I was in a similar place in my life as the main character, and in some ways, I could relate and others I couldn’t (obviously).

Not Working follows Claire after already quitting her full-time job, which she left in order to pursue a career she really wanted for herself. But she didn’t know what career that would be. Or even what industry that would be in. Claire seemed to want to take time off to figure out what she truly wanted to do as a career and figure out what she was passionate about. And what a roller coaster ride it was.

At first, I was a bit disappointed the book started after Claire had already quit her job but mostly because I wanted to read if Claire had felt the same way before quitting her job as I did when I quit my previous full-time job to (sort of) do the same soul searching. However, readers get the glimpse of how she felt throughout the book.

Not Working is sectioned and blurbed to be similar to Bridget Jones Diaries and I could see the similarities.

  • Insecure/privilege main character
  • The way the book is sectioned
  • The humour

Overall, I enjoyed this book. I liked how Lisa Owens leaves the book with a satisfying ending but doesn’t stamp any labels as to what exactly Claire ends up with and doing. Ending the book with Claire figuring everything out would have been unrealistic and how Lisa Owens ends the book is like I said satisfying. I really enjoyed this and being able to relate to a lot of what Claire goes though could be obvious to why.



  1. While this doesn't necessarily seem like my cup if tea it does seem to have very interesting premise. I always love seeing characters going on a self discovery journey, I feel like in a way, we all wish that we could do the same and reading about their journeys can sometimes inspire self reflection. I'm glad that you liked this book and thank you for sharing this book! Victoria ( thepetitebookblogger)

    1. Me too, this book was released and crossed my path at the right time in my life. Even though I didn't find exactly what I was looking for going into this book I could relate and connect with the character during her confusing time. Thanks for stopping by!


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