Because She Can, by Bridie Clark & Mary Birdsong (Narrator)
Claire Truman had an idyllic childhood as the beloved only child of kind, wise, and accomplished parents. It was her adult life that became dysfunctional. When a chance meeting with her college crush leads to new career opportunities and romance, she finds that what she'd always dreamed of is, in reality, a nightmare. Claire lands a plum job with publishing legend Vivian Grant, only to learn that Ms. Grant is a ruthless, abusive, heartless, selfish, vindictive, tyrannical employer. Luckily, Claire has found the perfect boyfriend in the handsome, successful, romantic Randall Cox -- or has she?
Bridie Clark's first novel provides an insider's view of the world of publishing, and although she claims that Vivian Clark is not a thinly veiled portrait of her former employer Judith Regan, the listener cannot help but recognize similarities. Clark tells her story in an amusing manner and doesn't hesitate to have Claire bemoan her own shortcomings, causing the listener to spring to her defense and find her irresistible. Claire's friends and family and co-workers are also people with whom one would enjoy spending time. They come off as real people with believable dialogue and authentic concerns.
Narrator Mary Birdsong is able to maintain distinctive voices for a diverse group of characters. There's the imperious Vivian, the innocent Claire, the whinny Bea, the condescending Lucile and a host of other female and male individuals. It is a tribute to both the author and the narrator that the characters are so memorable in this audio book.
This book is a light but absorbing tale of romance, ambition, values, ideals, goals, loyalty, friendship, and reality versus fantasy. In short, listeners can enjoy and respond to this book on many levels. It is very entertaining, with witty observations by or about most of the characters and the situations they encounter. I finished the book hoping that Birdie Clark would get a job in another industry and write another insider's guide.