Book Reviews

‘The best moments in reading are when you come across something - a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things - which you had thought special and particular to you. And now, here it is, set down by someone else, a person you have never met, someone even who is long dead. And it is as if a hand has come out, and taken yours.’ Alan Bennett

“Many a book is like a key to unknown chambers within the castle of one’s own self.” ― Franz Kafka

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Working it Out - Nicola May

'Twelve months, twelve jobs - and by the end of it, she would surely know where her true vocation lay.'

Working it Out tells the story of Ruby Matthews, who having been made redundant from her marketing role just before Christmas, and inspired by a certain quotation about loving your work, decides to try out twelve different jobs, one per month over the course of the following year, on order to try and discover what she would really love to do. As the novel progresses, we spend a year with Ruby as she tries a variety of different roles and discovers more about herself. These different jobs provide plenty of opportunity for humour, and some touching moments too. 

Ruby is a kind-hearted woman and tends to see the good in people. She cares about her friends and family, evidenced by her close relationship with her brother Sam. She is by and large a very positive person; 'she was going to embrace everything that was thrown at her in good humour and a positive spirit.' It's exciting to experience all these different working environments with her. Ruby is also looking for lasting love; there are some casual encounters and there is some saucy humour here, but she realises that she wants more than just temporary excitement; she wants a relationship that lasts, and is deeper than just physical attraction. Through her experiences, she developes a maturer outlook with regard to love and relationships.  Ruby is part of a nice caring little community on her street in Putney, London, where there are some lovely supporting characters including Margaret, the kind, friendly widow from over the road. 

This is an entertaining, amusing read with plenty of humour, and also some serious moments. It's an uplifting read that made me smile. Ruby approaches everything in a positive manner and gives each and every job her best, and this pays dividends in terms of the benefits to how she feels; 'For the first time in ages she had taken control of her life, which in turn was making her really happy and ooze the confidence she sometimes lacked.' I felt that the author conveyed emotions and relationships well. Perhaps aspects of some of the jobs are a little unlikely or fortunate but it is all so enjoyable and readable that I was happy not to worry about that. I really like the cover of this book; it is so bright and cheerful, evocative of a sunshine-filled day, and the woman in the picture is cleverly depicted in the act of doing so many different things at once, just like Ruby. 


Thank you very much to the author for sending me a copy of her novel to read and give an honest review.

Working it Out is a self-published novel available now in paperback and e-book formats.

Visit the author's website here to find out more. You can also follow her on twitter @nicolamay1



  1. I seriously love the cover. I'm looking for a job right now - maybe I should employ this strategy?!

  2. I love the cover too, so happy! I wonder about this strategy too, could be a good way to find out about oneself anyway!


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