“I was giggling at this book, and my mum asked me why, and I couldn't explain it. The premise doesn't sound that great: the main character, whose name is Claire (yes — this did influence my decision to read it, judge me if you like!) is between jobs and trying to find herself. She's so recognizable and relatable. It's great.”
Claire, East City Bookshop
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.
“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