FIRST WE QUIT OUR JOBS by Marilyn J. Abraham


How One Work-Driven Couple Got on the Road to a New Life
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 A heartfelt but ultimately tedious journey of discovery for two corporate execs who shuck the rat race and hit the road. The whirl of publishing had finally gotten to Abraham (most recently vice president and editor in chief at Simon & Schuster Trade Paperbacks) and her husband, Sandy. They wanted to scale back, grab ahold of their lives. They bought an RV (Abraham never claims to be another Kerouac, and besides, Sandy had once contracted armpit crabs in an Alaskan dive, so they wanted a secure cocoon), rented out their home, and pointed west by northwest. What follows is the story of their trip from New York City to Alaska, then back to the East Coast. Abraham might have hoped that rubbing lunchtime shoulders with writers would transmit some of their magic to her, but it didn't. Her writing is self-conscious and clunky, though also disarmingly, agreeably frank, her regional impressions worn right there on her sleeve. She conveys an urbanite's surprised thrill at Manitoba's checkered plains and falls deeply in awe of Alaska's grandness, which leads her to tune in to the music of the spheres, to feel time expand. Abraham expands as well, delighting in the pleasures of her mate, food, and corporate-world-bashing. But as she tends south and east, the old bogeymen haunt her again: where to live, how to pay the bills. Westward she searched for circadian rhythms, eastward she scours real estate, the escapee becoming the wanabee. Colorado? Santa Fe? No longer kicked-back or wide-eyed, Abraham is as frantic to find a new home as she ever was back at the salt mines, the leaden prose whining and grating, her urgency without appeal. Abraham the dreamer felt cut from honest cloth; Abraham the overachiever, who has won out by book's end, is a bad copy.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1997
ISBN: 0-440-50757-X
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Dell
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1st, 1996