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Piece of Work [Hardcover]

Laura Zigman

Price: 14.43 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.3 out of 5 stars  26 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A LISTENING PLEASURE 23 Nov 2006
By Gail Cooke - Published on
Format:Audio CD
Julie Einstein has enjoyed all the joys of motherhood too briefly. After giving birth to Leo she left her high power public relations job to be a stay-at-home Mom. It's now three years later and, surprise, surprise, she's thoroughly enjoyed it. After all the stress and struggle she's happy to watch daytime TV, accommodate a few more pounds, and watch Leo grow.

Unfortunately, this state of maternal and domestic bliss comes to a quick halt when her husband, Peter, is laid off. Time to switch places: she must go back to work and Peter will be a stay-at-home Dad.

Julie reluctantly returns to the workaday world with the John Glom Agency, a PR firm whose specialty is in resurrecting careers. She may have seen her share of has-beens and a few never-weres, but no one quite like Mary Ford. Once a queen of the silver screen Mary is now a royal pain. Julie longs to look after her own three-year-old, but she's stuck with childish Mary who pilfers expensive clothing from a photo shoot and has a litany of nigh on impossible demands.

Nonetheless, Julie must persevere and this she does by trying a comeback for Mary by launching a signature perfume (think Elizabeth Taylor). One slight problem: perfume is supposed to smell good, this perfume is odoriferous to the nth.

Meanwhile, back at the house Peter is running a smooth ship. Sometimes life does throw us a few curves and Zigman charts them with gusto.

Stage actress Emily Durante narrates this story impeccably. She has a pleasant voice and clear diction which makes listening a pleasure, whether longing to be at home with Leo or kvetching about the impossible Mary.

- Gail Cooke
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I've Read Worse. 8 Feb 2007
By Enchanted One - Published on
A little too cutesy for me, at times.

-Calling the boss "Jack DeWack".

-Calling the child "The Scoob". Way too many times.

-A husband who makes the kid an asparagus costume for Halloween and gets the entire pre-school to dress their kids as vegetables, then makes himself and his wife hats made out of foil so they look like tongs and then they all happily march in the Halloween parade as a salad? (Imagine if THAT were in the book's description; how likely would you be to read it?)

Cutesy just gets under my skin.

Whatever happened with Lisa the friend and the snobby park ladies? Why do we even know about them?

Husband with previous high-level job suddenly embraces cooking and crafts and has never once flipped out or gotten himself silly drunk or, I don't know, acted realistically?

Sorry but if someone insults my kid (ala Jimmy Durante nose), I'm not letting it slide. Perfect opportunity for her to go off and she just dropped the ball. I wasn't looking for a lesson in integrity or how to be a doormat, I was looking to be entertained. Had she let loose on the old crow, quit, went home and had to stop eating Pirate Booty (also mentioned one time too many and who cares what it smells like???) because they couldn't afford anything more than Little Debbie snacks, fought wildly because of the financial stress, initially resisting the attempts to woo her back (Jack -groan- DeWack groveling would have been nice), watched her husband get a backbone as he pumped gas at the night job he had to take to help keep them out of foreclosure...well, then it would have been something I could relate to. Fluff? I don't know alot of people who lead fluffy lives that work out oh so perfectly. And I really like being able to relate to the characters.

Hated the rushed and way too happy ending. Totally felt like it was written in a "uh-oh, my deadline is a week away" kind of way.

Book is okay if you're into chick lit but I was hoping for a little more.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars amusing and acerbic satire 30 Sep 2006
By Harriet Klausner - Published on
Thirty-six years old Julia Einstein enjoys being a Connecticut stay at home mother rather than being part of the Manhattan public relations rat race scene that she did before she gave birth. That changes when her spouse Peter loses his job; Julia is forced to find work in her expertise.

The John Glom Public Relations form hires Julia. Her client is a desperate has-been like all those who employ John Glom. However, as actress Mary Ford finds her fame rapidly abating to where she is a notch above an obscure trivia question, she correspondently abuses those hired to help her especially her public relations specialist. The PR crowd at John Glom understands that the Mary's of the world pay to bring others down with them especially those they employ. Though she loathes the customer Julia tries finding a solution to turn around Mary's rapidly vanishing name.

Though readers know early on how successful Julia will be with Mary, the key to this amusing and acerbic satire is Ford. Whereas the lead focus is Julia as she adjusts to returning to the workplace, she, her spouse, and her PR peers are sympathetic characters. Mary, on the other hand, is a nasty PIECE OF WORK who is at her best is frosty and aloof and at her worst is hostile and cruel; yet beneath her surface repugnance of everyone, vulnerability often surfaces. Thus she keeps the tale from exorbitant sweetening and ultra excessive cuteness, as there is a bit too much of both already. Julia to the rescue is a humorous entertaining tale.

Harriet Klausner
2.0 out of 5 stars SO WHAT! 14 Jun 2013
By Abbe Wolfsheimer - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
More whining about balancing a dispicable job with mommyhood. Characters are devoid of any assets or liabilities that invoke the reader's interest. Is there a plot?
1.0 out of 5 stars Terribly, Terribly, Terrible 26 Nov 2011
By CDSeattle - Published on
Terribly, Terribly, terrible book. The characters are so broadly drawn, it read more like an outline for a book or a manuscript , not a finished piece of work. It touches on so many themes and characters, the diva, the no-so struggling new stay at home dad, the playground mummys who hate, the work frenemies, and follows up on none of them. Not very funny and not very believable, especially the faded diva Mary Ford..and the PR guru Jack characters. This is one is a pass. The best thing about it is the cover.
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