Posted 20 hours ago

Careering: 'I loved loved loved it' Marian Keyes

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During my time at uni, instead of going to lectures which could have actually enriched my mind, I spent many solitary weeks untangling necklaces inside dingy fashion cupboards and feeling sick at the thought of asking editors what they needed me to do next. I listened to this on audio book, so that may have made a difference as to why I didn't connect that well to it.

Appallingly funny and ruthlessly honest, CAREERING shines a deeply human light on the exhausting highs and lows of life as a modern working woman. Oh how much did I love this book - so insightful, so relatable and it just happens to combine two of my favourite things, reading and magazines (not that I ever have time to read them anymore with that out of control TBR but hey 🤷‍♀️).This is a fabulous and fierce take on womanhood in the workplace and the toxic relationship we can have with our vocation. Apparently the dozens of unpaid internships where she was treated badly were what "made" her who she is today. Hilarious and unflinchingly honest, Careering takes a hard look at the often toxic relationship working women have with their dream jobs. The grind culture was celebrated as a badge of honour rather than criticised for its patriarchal and elitist nature. Will she wake up to the way she's being exploited before her protege realises that not everything is copy?

Careering centres itself around the pressures women face in the workplace and in the case of this novel within the media industry, where we face criticism and nuclear burnout to become the idealised ‘successful career woman’ with it all. I was hoping for some raw and accurate portrayal of the "dream job" illusion and yet it didn't land. A great exploration of relationships with ourselves, our families, our colleague's, our past and futures, our careers, our dreams, our voices. the narrative did feel a little disjointed due to the quick pov switches between imogen and harri, and some of the dialogue was a little cringey at times.

One of the most poignant threads throughout the novel is this idea of ‘The Girl’ as someone who’s wearing designer clothes and getting regular beauty treatments, when the reality for many 18-35 year old women trying to make it in London is living in a mouldy bedsit eating beans on toast! But while she may have the ‘It Coat’ down, she’s about to be placed on a sinking ship mission to get Hudson’s new online venture off the ground, all while hiding her own insecurities and battle with grief. With this, I would recommend but advise you to be cautious that you will not be getting all you expect from a novel that focuses on the topics above upon reading.

Will she wake up to the way she's being exploited before her protégé realises that not everything is copy?A wide sample of tropes are continually introduced, but skimmed over without much afterthought (for those interested — racial discrimination, classism, power dynamics, the patriarchy, imposter syndrome, sexual harassment, sexual freedom as feminism, familial tensions, anxiety and panic attacks, grief… and that’s not even the complete list). Daisy has also appeared on a number of TV and radio shows including Woman’s Hour, The Today Programme, Soul Music, A Good Read, This Morning and Good Morning Britain. Hilarious, astute and full of human truths, Careering is a compelling and thoughtful read that every woman (and man) should have on their shelves. Daisy Buchanan’s second novel follows after her debut - last year’s Insatiable - this time feeling like a far more self-assured piece of fiction that delivers a sharp and witty narrative, all with Buchanan’s trademark spice. If anything, I felt this one tried to cover *too* many important millennial topics to its detriment?

I could marry a vicar next year, and I’ve still done something crazier and sluttier than most people. Moreover, every side character felt like a complete caricature of what I would've imagined people in ~publishing~ and ~digital media~ to be like when I was 15. Harri is meant to be a well-respected old-timer in the publishing world but some of her actions (or more appropriately, inactions) reduced me to skepticism.

Especially in a particular moment when Imogen is pressured to do things that I'm sure are illegal and that unfortunately are not debated as such, just as a work “inconvenience” that soon dissipates when we know that in real life the pressures that we suffer at work can lead us to a deplorable state of mental health.

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