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Book Review – Promising Young Women by Caroline O’Donoghue

Promising Young Women

Caroline O’Donoghue


RRP: $34.99

What an unexpected find. I really enjoyed this novel and will be happily passing it on to others to enjoy.

The premise is this; our protagonist (Jane) has a fairly solid, normal life – the usual ups and downs of a millennial – but nothing too crazy; except she has a secret life – she’s an online agony aunt “Jolly Politely”. Jolly is really a bit of an alter ego and as a woman who speaks her own mind and is never short of an opinion. Jane’s work had always been a job, but after a relationship breakup it becomes a career and she discovers she quite likes her job. At the same time, she realises that someone at her job quite likes her. Problem is, it’s her married boss. ‘Promising Young Women’, on the surface, appears to be a novel about exploring the issues around being a young, working woman, especially one in a strong, male dominated environment.

However, it’s a novel about more than this, it a novel about power, sex, fear, knowing yourself and about how the advice we give is often not as easy to follow when the shoe is on the other foot.

I adored this novel – it was surprisingly insightful and had amazing moments of lightness and moments of exploring the very dark parts of the human mind. It is always a pleasure to think you’re reading a light novel about one thing and then to discover the author has artfully taken you on a journey to an unforeseen place. Bliss!

About the Author

Caroline O’Donoghue is a Contributing Editor for The-Pool.com who has written for Glamour, The Irish Times and Buzzfeed. She also co-hosts the podcast, School for Dumb Women. Find out more on Twitter @Czaroline or at https://www.czaroline.com/.

About Esther Perriam

Esther Perriam
Esther Perriam is the General Manager at Eldernet. She’s worked in the business for over 10 years and has been lucky to visit many of the older person’s services around the country. She’s never short of an opinion on…pretty much anything. Esther really loves reading and you’ll see plenty of book reviews authored by her. As a mother of two small children there’s not much free time but if there is she also enjoys cooking (for grown-ups, not the kids!) and anything beach related in her spare time. Esther has presented at conferences around New Zealand and is happy to be contacted in regards to speaking or presenting at your event.

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