Yes, another book set in NYC. A fun debut novel called THE ASSISTANTS by Camille Perri. She’s written a wild and zany story about several young underpaid and under-appreciated women who work at a mega media corporation in The Big Apple. It’s witty, it’s fun, and it’s got a message.
I’ve been on a mission to find as many really good summer reads as I can find. Summer should mostly be for reading light stuff. Mostly. And THE ASSISTANTS fits this bill to a T. However, as light as the story is, it does hit a hot button topic: underpaid women drowning in student loan debt, working for peanuts and not getting ahead even with the education to go for it.
Tina Fontana is minding her own business one day at the office when an opportunity presents itself. It was never planned, done on the spur of the moment, and is life changing. Tina’s boss Robert Barlow is a VIP in all ways. He’s a billionaire over and over again. He doesn’t even cut his own limes or pour his own coffee. He does, however, treat Tina well, but he does not pay her enough. None of the women in the corporation are paid enough. So when this “opportunity” arose, Tina went for it.
And who is Emily Johnson? What a hoot. She’s brash, wears Jimmy Choo’s and drips with diamond jewelry. On her paltry salary how can she afford this stuff? The guys she dates provide the goods. But she’s got even more student loan debt than Tina. Unlikely cohorts, they team up. And then there were two.
Then Margie Fisher raises her ugly head. When Margie gets wind of what the two girls are doing, she gets in on the gig. And then two more women become involved.
I found this story to be a page-turner. I was routing for the women, of course. This novel shows us that very little has changed over the years when it comes to women and big business and who runs them. It shines light on the issue of student loans. This is a big topic at the moment. It is big because these loans are draining our young people. And, to be honest with you, I am hearing more and more talk of not even going to college, and it’s mostly because of the debt factor. So this novel has come along at the right time, plus, Perri has executed it perfectly. Even though she’s chosen to present it in a fun way, you know how important it is.
Camille Perri was the books editor for Cosmopolitan and Esquire magazines. She’s also been a reference librarian. She wrote THE ASSISTANTS while working as the assistant to the editor at Esquire.
Put your feet up. Grab a tall glass of iced tea with fresh mint from your garden, and grab a copy of this book. A summer read that’s bound to please.
I borrowed my copy from our local library. So happy.