I got my first denied request on NetGalley (wah!), and realized that I should probably do some catching up on all the books I requested after I joined. The ratio of reviews to requests is a factor in whether a publisher chooses to give a galley. And, though I have EVERY intention of reading all the books I requested, I've only read about one a month! Without further ado...
"I felt like I was watching a nature program about myself. 'She dwells in that gray area between family obligation and a desire to satisfy her own sense of adventure. Here she is now, coming in for the kill. Watch as the mom sinks her unmanicured claws into the dad's neck. He has failed in his mission to gather food for their young, so she must feed them tacos instead...'"
Not only does Alice have kids the same ages as mine, but she's a total bibliophile. Novels that include books as another main character are always compelling to me (see also: The Storied Life of AJ Fikry and Mr. Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore). The job she takes at a big box retail conglomerate aiming to put small bookstores out of business gives Alice a great deal of angst, and the corporate culture satire was HILARIOUS. I'm not a working mom, but I certainly remember those corporate days and the ridiculousness of such phrases as: deep dive, shift gears, and (new to me) pivot. In addition to her crazy stressful job, she's also worrying about her husband's downward spiral, a beloved nanny who is moving on with her career, and a parent going through cancer (another life similarity).
This book is very fast paced, and I blew through it in just over a day. With all of the heartrending chaos in Alice's life, I wanted desperately to see her get back on track. Most of the narrative was predictable, but nonetheless enjoyable. I'd categorize it in the 'grown up chick-lit, with some heft' category, and wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to my mommy contemporaries. Outside of that audience, I'm not entirely sure how it would go over, but I'd say the commentary on corporate culture, books and media would make it worth checking out.