Not Working by Lisa Owens


It’s always great when you get a surprise in the mail. It’s even better if it’s a book. This is a book I had my eye on and listed under my To-Read folder on my Goodreads account. Just a few weeks back the Read it Forward site had a little contest challenging you to find the emojis on their website. Piece of cake for me to find them as I read 98% of the articles on Read it Forward, so they seemed to jump out at me. In return for my critical visual skills they sent me this cool book. Thank you to Read it Forward!

Claire Flannery is recently unemployed.  It’s by choice as she frequently points out in conversations, so people don’t think she was fired or made redundant.  She wants to find The Job,  the one that will define her, the one that will make a difference in her life.  Being out of work leaves her  at loose ends and instead of actively searching for employment she is far too introspective.   Claire lives with her boyfriend, Luke, who has a promising medical career.  He is  very supportive of Claire taking time off work, giving her the time to “find herself”.

The book is broken down as a diary, a bit reminiscent of Bridget Jones’ Diary actually, with a stream of consciousness rambling.  Each insight of Claire’s thought process has a category.

For instance:


A few rings and in comes the smug automaton: “Sorry but the person you’ve tried to call is not available.”

“The person” is my mother and she’s screening my calls.

The story line here is – she has alienated her mother by saying something inappropriate at her grandfather’s funeral.  It’s ongoing through the book.

Then there are parts which may qualify as a chapter, even though they are only a page and half long but they are categorized.  She is finally out of her sleep pants before 5 P.M. and made an effort with preparing a meal.

“So, what have you been up to today?” Luke asks through a mouthful of Slow-cooked Pulled Pork and Super Zingy Slaw, breaking off a chunk of the Best Jalapeno Cornbread to mop up what’s left of the sauce from the Mac n’ Cheese With All the Bells n’ Whistles.

Months go by and she hasn’t applied herself to looking for work.  There is always something going on that distracts her.  Claire’s good friend Rachel ask her to meet up at a pub, there is something important she wants to tell Claire.  “ You’re always talking about finding the right thing.  But who’s to say there aren’t five or twenty-five jobs you could love if you were just a bit more open-minded?  Doesn’t it seem equally unlikely that there’s only one thing that’s right for you and all the rest of us have found ours?”

Everyone encourages Claire. It seems she has good friends and lovely boyfriend but she pushes them away at times by being over sensitive and worse, not holding her tongue when she drinks too much.  And does she ever drink too much!  Wine and more wine are not a good combination when one needs to be tactful or discreet.

This isn’t a format I love when reading a book but I did find it humorous and finished the book.

LISA OWENS was born and raised in the United Kingdom. She studied English at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, and spent six years working in publishing. In 2013, she completed an MA in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia. She lives in London with her husband and daughter.

Linking up with Joy’s British Isles Friday and Kirsty at The Overflowing Library for the British Book Challenge. Also Adding my review to Goodreads.

5 thoughts on “Not Working by Lisa Owens

    • The hunt was fun. But I read most of the articles anyway so, there they were. I liked the book but wouldn’t necessarily recommend it, if that makes any sense.


  1. Pingback: PM Switcheroo #BriFri | Joy's Book Blog

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