Saturday, August 28, 2010

Book Review: GOODBYE TO ALL THAT by Margo Candela

Before I give my book review, let me announce that Beth Trissel has won my weekly prize drawing. Beth, I'll contact you to see which of my books you choose.

Now for Margo Candela's GOODBYE TO ALL THAT.

Raquel Azorian has worked her way from temp to executive assistant and is this close to a promotion to junior marketing exec at Belmore Corporation, the midia behemoh she's devoted herself to. She's learned to play the Hollywood game--navigate office politics, schmooze the right people, avoid the wrong ones, and maintain a sense of decorum even in the craziest of times. All she needs is for her boss to sign her promotion memo. Instead of putting pen to paper, he suffers a very public meltdown that puts not only his professional future but Raquel's on the line.

Getting to the next rung on the Belmore ladder will require every ounce of focus, but that's not going to be easy. Raquel's mom has decided to leave her husband and move into Raquel's apartment, and her older brother seems to be sinking deeper and deeper into depression. Raquel has to keep her job, stop her parents from divorcing, and save her brother. In the chaos of juggling so much, she finally reaches the breaking point: there's just not enough time for everything or for everyone. She's going to have to choose--success at work or happiness at home. But then a chance encounter at a bookstore cafe leads Raquel to start planning her own Hollywood ending . . . on her own terms.
Raquel learned early on that being a pretty girl in town of pretty girls only qualified her for a hostess job at a local restaurant. She made certain she stood out in a sea of frumpy that qualified her to corporate success at Belmore, where company politics are a blood sport. Life keeps knocking her down, but she plays like a champ. Her mom moves in and her parents and her brother depend too heavily on her to solve their problems. Her boss counts on her until the chips are down. Raquel is not perfect, but she is too good for the job she's given her life to. Only a terrible crisis shows her where her heart and her future lie. She makes the right decisions to launch herself in a more reasonable life.

Margo Candela tells a wonderful story. Her characterization is faultless, and I liked Raquel immediately. If you've ever had a job that consumed you, ever been speared by office politics. or ever had your heart broken, you'll sympathize with Raquel. Even if you've experienced none of these tragedies, you'll find this story speaks to you on some level.  I recommend it to every reader.

Please join me on the 31st for a post by Margo Candela and the chance to win a copy of her new release, GOODBYE TO ALL THAT.


Jeanmarie Hamilton said...

Goodbye to All That sounds like a great story. Reminds me of Judith McNaught's stories. Good luck to you, Margo, with your stories.


Margo Candela said...

Thanks, Jeanmarie! I'll have to pick up a copy of JMcN's book.