The Assistants by Camille Perri. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 2016. 282 pages. ****
Thirty-year-old Tina Fontana is an executive assistant to Robert Barlow, the CEO of Titan Corporation. Underpaid and overworked, don't all corporations expect you to be happy that you have a job? Tina can barely afford to pay her rent and $20,000 in student loans. When a technical glitch forces Robert to fly commercial, he requests a seat in first class and that all of the seats around him are kept empty. And of course, he demands that the airline comps the price...a whopping $19,147.00! The airline refuses and Tina is forced to charge it to her personal credit cards. After Tina submits the amount to be reimbursed, the airline reverses the charges and Tina receives a check for the full amount. The check will cancel Tina's college loans and she has been an underpaid, faithful employee for six years, what's an assistant to do? Becoming a modern day Robin Hood isn't exactly what Tina had in mind in her moment of weakness, but she is blackmailed and bullied into a scheme to pay off the student loans of other women employees.
A funny, easy read, that will make you laugh and groan at the same time. When she gives into her impulse, I know Tina is going to get caught, I didn't expect her to be so easily manipulated by others who want in on the action. The assistants aren't greedy, they only pay off student loans and want pay equity. A sad commentary on the high cost of education and low wages of those who are at the bottom of the corporate ladder told in an amusing, entertaining story.
I received a copy from BookSparks for a review.
Camille Perri has worked as a books editor for Cosmopolitan and Esquire magazines. She has also been a ghostwriter of young adult novels and a reference librarian. She holds a bachelor of arts degree from New York University and a master of library science degree from Queens College. Perri wrote her first draft of The Assistants while working as the assistant to the editor in chief of Esquire.
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