cover image Pounding the Pavement

Pounding the Pavement

Jennifer van der Kwast, . . Broadway, $18.95 (280pp) ISBN 978-0-7679-1953-1

Van der Kwast casts a deliciously jaded eye on working—and not working—in the media industry in her likable debut. Her beset heroine, Sarah, joins her chick-lit sisters as another smart-cookie neurotic at the mercy of manic Manhattan life, low on cash and middling on morale. After Sarah's film company tanked, she bummed through a few idle months; now she's landed a temp gig at a production company, but she still has to make nice to her spoiled ex-boss, who's safely ensconced in another company and exploiting Sarah's brainpower for her own benefit. Should Sarah give it all up and move to Colorado to write for Aspen Quarterly ? Not if Jake, the sexy brooder for whom she's filling in, moseys in to train her and steals her heart in the process. If only Sarah could curb her impulse to snoop around for his dark secrets, one of which is blonde and sexy! The indignities of job-searching will resonate with many an idealistic young urbanite, as will the sendups of corporate culture, from clownish headhunters to the anomie of the cubicle. At times, Sarah's angst feels stale, if only because raucous "pink slip parties" are so 2001. But clever writing and smoldering romance hold perennial appeal. Agent, Joe Veltre. (July)