cover image Dream Job: Wacky Adventures of an HR Manager

Dream Job: Wacky Adventures of an HR Manager

Janet Garber. Lulu, $14.99 trade paper (178p) ISBN 978-1-4834-4747-6

A disillusioned 40-plus woman does her best to manage conflict and disillusionment at work and in her personal life in this campy office-life journey. Melanie “Melie” Kohl has a prestigious job at a medical center in New York City. As the employee-relations manager, she handles the numerous depressed, disgruntled, and delusional workers that come to her looking for resolution. This short novel has a promising premise with its flawed, endearing, and comical protagonist and her zany work environment. The mix of plot elements such as sexual harassment, overbearing bosses, grudges, affairs, and a mysterious death, as well as Melie’s struggle to remedy her dreary life revealed in her journal writing, is intriguing. Unfortunately, the pieces are underdeveloped. Melie’s love interest, Ted, has moments of sweet charm, but his voice is inconsistent. Other characters are portrayed through their often over-the-top workplace antics and come across as caricatures. Editing some long and unnatural dialogue segments and jumps in time would’ve helped the narrative, and further plot and character development would enhance the insight in Melie’s search for love and meaning in her life. (BookLife)