A humorous and thought-provoking tale about searching for the ever elusive brass ring.

THE INSATIABLES

A young woman hustles to climb the corporate ladder in this darkly comedic, deeply insightful workplace drama.

Halley Faust will do anything to get promoted to “Level 2” at Findlay Global Manufacturing, Inc. The new job title would result in her relocation to Europe and her escape from the sleepy Midwestern town where she has lived all her life. Longing for these new possibilities, Halley makes a cutthroat decision, betraying an old friend but securing the higher position. With barely a backward glance, she hops on a plane to France, where she and a small team of Findlay employees will spend a year preparing to launch the company’s newest product, the mysterious Tantalus. Unfortunately, even as a Level 2, Halley is the most junior member of the team in Europe, and she quickly finds herself falling into the roles of gopher and scapegoat, much like she had been back in the home office in Ohio. With France failing to live up to her expectations, Halley wonders whether Level 2 is all it was cracked up to be. In fact, she quickly determines that she should invest all her energy in reaching Level 3 status instead. Unfortunately, the co-workers with whom she travels are as conniving and manipulative as she, and she will have to surmount many professional and interpersonal challenges if she hopes to be considered for another promotion. As she plans the launch of this product that she has never actually seen and can’t quite explain, Halley also examines her relationships with her co-workers and begins to question her decisions. Through a fast-paced and accessible prose that is full of both intuitive observations and slapstick, cringeworthy moments, Terwilliger deftly tackles issues ranging from workplace romances and corporate ethics to self-esteem and personal ambition.

A humorous and thought-provoking tale about searching for the ever elusive brass ring.

Pub Date: Aug. 28, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-944995-59-1

Page Count: 338

Publisher: Amberjack Publishing

Review Posted Online: May 28, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2018

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ONE DAY IN THE LIFE OF IVAN DENISOVICH

While a few weeks ago it seemed as if Praeger would have a two month lead over Dutton in their presentation of this Soviet best seller, both the "authorized" edition (Dutton's) and the "unauthorized" (Praeger's) will appear almost simultaneously. There has been considerable advance attention on what appears to be as much of a publishing cause celebre here as the original appearance of the book in Russia. Without entering into the scrimmage, or dismissing it as a plague on both your houses, we will limit ourselves to a few facts. Royalties from the "unauthorized" edition will go to the International Rescue Committee; Dutton with their contracted edition is adhering to copyright conventions. The Praeger edition has two translators and one of them is the translator of Doctor Zhivago Dutton's translator, Ralph Parker, has been stigmatized by Praeger as "an apologist for the Soviet regime". To the untutored eye, the Dutton translation seems a little more literary, the Praeger perhaps closer to the rather primitive style of the original. The book itself is an account of one day in the three thousand six hundred and fifty three days of the sentence to be served by a carpenter, Ivan Denisovich Shukhov. (Solzhenitsyn was a political prisoner.) From the unrelenting cold without, to the conditions within, from the bathhouse to the latrine to the cells where survival for more than two weeks is impossible, this records the hopeless facts of existence as faced by thousands who went on "living like this, with your eyes on the ground". The Dutton edition has an excellent introduction providing an orientation on the political background to its appearance in Russia by Marvin Kalb. All involved in its publication (translators, introducers, etc.) claim for it great "artistic" values which we cannot share, although there is no question of its importance as a political and human document and as significant and tangible evidence of the de-Stalinization program.

Pub Date: June 15, 1963

ISBN: 0451228146

Page Count: 181

Publisher: Praeger

Review Posted Online: Oct. 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1963

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Unrelenting gloom relieved only occasionally by wrenching trauma; somehow, though, Hannah’s storytelling chops keep the...

FLY AWAY

Hannah’s sequel to Firefly Lane (2008) demonstrates that those who ignore family history are often condemned to repeat it.

When we last left Kate and Tully, the best friends portrayed in Firefly Lane, the friendship was on rocky ground. Now Kate has died of cancer, and Tully, whose once-stellar TV talk show career is in free fall, is wracked with guilt over her failure to be there for Kate until her very last days. Kate’s death has cemented the distrust between her husband, Johnny, and daughter Marah, who expresses her grief by cutting herself and dropping out of college to hang out with goth poet Paxton. Told mostly in flashbacks by Tully, Johnny, Marah and Tully’s long-estranged mother, Dorothy, aka Cloud, the story piles up disasters like the derailment of a high-speed train. Increasingly addicted to prescription sedatives and alcohol, Tully crashes her car and now hovers near death, attended by Kate’s spirit, as the other characters gather to see what their shortsightedness has wrought. We learn that Tully had tried to parent Marah after her father no longer could. Her hard-drinking decline was triggered by Johnny’s anger at her for keeping Marah and Paxton’s liaison secret. Johnny realizes that he only exacerbated Marah’s depression by uprooting the family from their Seattle home. Unexpectedly, Cloud, who rebuffed Tully’s every attempt to reconcile, also appears at her daughter’s bedside. Sixty-nine years old and finally sober, Cloud details for the first time the abusive childhood, complete with commitments to mental hospitals and electroshock treatments, that led to her life as a junkie lowlife and punching bag for trailer-trash men. Although powerful, Cloud’s largely peripheral story deflects focus away from the main conflict, as if Hannah was loath to tackle the intractable thicket in which she mired her main characters.

Unrelenting gloom relieved only occasionally by wrenching trauma; somehow, though, Hannah’s storytelling chops keep the pages turning even as readers begin to resent being drawn into this masochistic morass.

Pub Date: April 23, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-312-57721-6

Page Count: 416

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: Feb. 18, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2013

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