Everyone s been talking about this book. . . . Charming and funny, this read is simply delightful. Bustle
A deadpan comic debut for the procrastination generation. The Guardian
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.
Praise for Not Working
Ruefully funny . . . features a kind of millennial Bridget Jones whose red wine and TED Talk fueled pursuit of a higher purpose in life leads to hard truths and hangovers. Vogue
In this laugh-out-loud debut, Claire Flannery is a lost soul who quits her day job to discover her true passion. In taking a hard look at her own character, Claire finds that her loveable qualities are sometimes squashed by mistakes, like the evenings she blurts inappropriate remarks after too many glasses of wine. Lisa] Owens s story is a smart, relatable and delicious debut. Harper s Bazaar
It s no mean feat to fashion a novel out of the stuff of everyday life. . . . Fortunately, Owens is quite a writer. . . . Not Working works because there is lots going on beneath its placid, ordinary surface. . . . With this funny, serious debut, Lisa Owens has proved that she s one to watch. The New Statesman
There are sharp observations about generational change, particularly on the topic of work. . . . The novel is a light read but it raises some timely issues. . . . A secure job with a future is not that easy to find, as Claire s comic and compelling tale serves to show. This book offers a form of catharsis for anyone who has felt that they are not quite doing their job right. . . . It is soothing to find you are not the only one noodling along in your career. Financial Times
Stellar . . . Owens has an] ability to take the potentially trite problem-of-the-privileged trope and deftly craft it into readable fun. Publishers Weekly
Owens offers a millennial take on the traditional British chick-lit heroine. . . . Claire is a realistically awkward character who will appeal to readers looking for a less-angsty take on the new adult trend. Booklist
A novel as insightful about the contemporary dilemmas facing young professionals as it is sharp, incisive and laugh-out-loud funny. The Observer
Lots of people say they laugh out loud when they read a book they love. But in the case of Not Working, I really did laugh out loud, often and raucously. Elisabeth Egan, author of A Window Opens"
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2016-03-28
- Reviewer: Staff
Owens’s stellar debut novel, composed of vignettes, concerns recently unemployed 20-something Londoner Claire Flannery, who has quit her communications job in an attempt to find her purpose. Claire has the luxury to do this thanks to some savings and her patient boyfriend, Luke, a brain surgeon in training with whom Claire owns a home. As her unemployment begins to stretch over several months, Claire finds herself plagued with doubts, such as her jealousy at Luke’s flirtatious colleague Fiona and her wilting at people’s disapproving attitudes toward her hiatus. Finding herself in stasis after a few half-attempts at job searching, Claire drinks too much at times and plunges into petulant states in which she starts arguments fueled by her insecurities. Owens’s protagonist may not always be likable, but this makes her all the more relatable. The author summons an ugly truth in the way Claire’s self-doubts test loved ones and turn otherwise fine situations unpleasant. Though the novel resolves in an inevitable way, this doesn’t detract from Owens’s ability to take the potentially trite problem-of-the-privileged trope and deftly craft it into readable fun. (May)