Book Review | Not Working by Lisa Owens

If you saw my previous post then you’ll know Not Working by Lisa Owens was on my To Be Read pile this month.

Not Working by Lisa Owens

I love discovering new authors and I came across Lisa Owens’ book at work when it was chosen for Fresh Talent last year. As I’ve read a lot of historical fiction recently I felt like reading something light-hearted and contemporary, and Not Working is exactly that.


Not Working is told from the perspective of Claire Flannery, a millennial in her early twenties/late thirties who has quit her job of six years in “Creative Communications” to take time out and discover what she really wants to do. (Not sure why I put Creative Communications in inverted comma’s when it’s basically what I do 9-5 and in my spare time…) However, instead of doing the things we all say we’d do if we had more time, like get fit, read all the unread books, learn a new language etc., she finds herself mulling over the uncertainties of life. From worrying about whether her long-term boyfriend and trainee brain surgeon, Luke, will propose and whether she should have a baby, to falling out with her mother, Claire’s life begins to unravel rather than fall into place.


We all know what it’s like to feel a bit lost and Lisa Owens reassures us that we’re not alone. Refreshingly honest and funny, her protagonist Claire Flannery provides a poignant reminder that real life isn’t perfect, and that’s OK. You can’t help but identify with her as she juggles the many emotions of job hunting and trying to find her way in the modern world. A tale of angst and insecurity told with humour and shrewdness, Not Working is a brilliant example of how to write Chick-Lit without the clichés.


Written in short diary-like vignettes, Claire’s spontaneous thoughts and observations reflect the randomness of real life. Also, the fact that it’s written in bite-sized chunks makes it ideal for reading on the way to work, that’s if it doesn’t inspire you to quit your job!


Witty, entertaining and easy-to-read, Not Working is a fantastic debut from Lisa Owens and I’m looking forward to reading more from her in the future.


What are you reading at the moment? Let me know in the comments below, I’m always on the lookout for new authors to read!