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A Blonde in The Works

Author: Parsons, Barbara P.
Publisher: Bunim & Bannigan Ltd. (2008)
Pages: 185
Binding: Hardcover
Synopsis: This debut novel, an awkward hybrid of political drama, feminist text and chick lit, attempts to chronicle one woman's self-awakening in the early '70s. Claire Chesterton is a British civil servant working in Bogota, Colombia. In her 40s, bored by her job as a typist and lonely, she embarks on a self-improvement plan, becoming the object of attraction for both British and local men. Tensions rise when a typographical error turns into an expensive diplomatic mistake, though Claire is oblivious as she (implausibly and unwisely) devotes all her attention to married Jeremy Jooning of the British Trade Delegation. The narrative jumps between Claire's adolescent feelings of romance and the bureaucracy of office life, with an occasional declaration by Claire such as "there'll be no more hiding my light under a bushel to please the likes of the boy's network." Amid political drama, Clare ends up following Jeremy to New York and finally achieves emancipation (of sorts) when she realizes that he's just not that into her. Unfortunately, despite the novel's intriguing premise, Claire's statements are cliché and the flimsy characters are suspended in a confusing and chaotic historical narrative.



Last updated on December-19-14