Book Review | Not Working by Lisa Owens

Book Review| Not Working by Lisa OwensDisclosure: This post contains affiliate links.


Story    ★★★

Writing ★★


Humor ★★★★







No real resolution






Language: English


Humor & Satire

Literary Fiction

Contemporary Fiction

Women’s Fiction


ISBN-10: 0812988817

Published: May 3, 2016

Publisher: The Dial Press


Not Working, debut novel of Lisa Owens, was kindly provided to me for an honest review by NetGalley and its publisher The Dial Press. Read the full disclaimer here.

Twenty-something Londoner Claire has just resigned from her job without a plan–and although she is pleased, her family and friends can’t seem to understand. Before too long, she manages to push away both her safe, steady, brain-surgeon boyfriend and her difficult but loving mother.
Quirky, questioning Claire hilariously navigates and comments on the emotions and minutiae of day-to-day life as only someone without the distractions of a regular routine can.


I was in need of an easy read and was happy to receive an Advance Reader Copy of Not Working. The description promised a funny, laugh-out-laud novel, and I was ready for it.

The novel starts of in an unusual format – a conversation with a passing stranger, which threw me off a bit, but a few pages into the novel, I found my pace. Lisa Owen’s writing style is very catchy, and easy to read. Claire’s voice is so genuine, that I couldn’t help myself from relating to her, feeling compassionate for some of her everyday struggles, as she tries to find herself, and her raison d’être. After all, we’ve all been there at some point of our lives: asking ourselves what is our life purpose, and what type of job should we be doing.  Claire takes on to find it out with humor, and from the second page onto the last, I couldn’t help but smile at her (mis)happenings. Not Working is very Ernest in its genre, filled with fun, and real moments. How often did I find myself nodding, agreeing with Claire, because that is exactly what I would usually do, or how I would usually handle one situation? I think this novel will appeal to many, as everyone can relate to some degree to the protagonist.

Despite the great time I had reading the book, I was a bit left hanging at the end, with Claire still in search of herself, and her future still uncertain. I wish Lisa Owens would have brought some resolution to the story, offered some wisdom even, or left a hint as to what the character could look forward to. Instead we are left with just having to imagine what can come next, hoping that someday, just like in real life, Claire might finally find herself. Maybe, all along, that was the whole point of the story? To point out that just like in real life, Claire’s future was yet to be decided?

Overall, I truly enjoyed Not Working. If you are looking for something quick to pass the time, for something to make you laugh at times and make you smile, don’t hesitate to give this novel a chance. As for me, I am already looking forward to Lisa Owens’ next novel.


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