Rating: 4 stars (Spotlight Review)
Lucy is the writer of STORIES—or at least that’s what her mother calls them. Now an unemployed temp worker, Lucy doesn’t know how to define herself anymore. As she laments the lack of intelligence that surrounds her, Lucy is positive of two things: the possibility of ever getting another job no longer exists and one of her neighbors is stalking her.
After following Lucy to the zoo, Grey finally introduces himself. Recently pink-slipped, Grey sheepishly admits to following Lucy because it looked like she always had somewhere to go and he was intrigued.
Sharing a feeling of doom, Grey and Lucy join forces, filling their days with each other’s company and their bleak outlook on rejoining the ranks of the working stiffs, before finding Zac who adds crazy adventure to their New York tourist attraction outings.
Borderline eccentric, Zac spends his time at the coffee house responding to job ads on Craig’s List—not so much in the way of asking for the job, but rather pointing out the clichés and misnomers that describe the positions.
Despite Zac’s demand that they abandon the system that abandoned them, neither Grey nor Lucy can let go of their innate desire to have a job, to feel like they have a purpose—despite the inevitable soul-crushing monotony that comes with a 9-5.
After months under the influence of unemployment, Lucy finally lands an interview, which incites more panic than relief. Almost as if her time out of the working sector has caused her go rogue, Lucy throws the interview and walks out, returning to the comforting arms of Grey and the solitude of their little dysfunctional group.
Within a short amount of time, and with very little effort, Secret Lives of the Unemployed sucks you into the lives—or lack thereof—of three very different people who come together to fill an invisible, yet tangible void.
Liz Bartucci’s outstanding story-telling literally propels her brilliantly-rendered characters right off the page. Bartucci skillfully illustrates three distinctly different personalities that mesh seamlessly together: Lucy with her detached indifference that belies the benevolence of deep emotion and empathy. Zac, a bear-like man with a pseudo-anarchist attitude who uses his high IQ to hide copious amounts of pain and grief, and Grey, seemingly the most fragile of them all. Despite a desire to be carefree, Grey secretly craves the stability and self-definition of having a job.
Liz Bartucci does an amazing job of telling a simple story of three people who drop out of the rat race and end up forging a more meaningful existence with each other and themselves.
Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 1785 KB
Publisher: Elizabeth Bartucci; 1 edition (July 11, 2011)