Once there was a little girl from Fargo, North Dakota, named Maggie Goldfarb who grew up, moved to Manhattan, and morphed into Magnolia Gold, the highly paid editor in chief of Lady magazine. With a corner office, a designer wardrobe, and dozens of loyal employees, Magnolia has been hired to update the dowager of women’s magazines. She’s on her way to giving Lady a face-lift when she is ignominiously replaced by Bebe Blake, a brash television personality who remakes the magazine in her own hilariously inappropriate image. With her ketchup-red hair, skintight clothes, and penchant for “boy toys,” Bebe is more out of control than a speeding limo. Maddeningly unpredictable, she confounds everyone at the newly christened Bebe with her personal vision of what a women’s magazine should be, and baffles them further with her bawdy sense of humor and over-the-top generosity.
Shunted off to the darkest corners of executive purgatory-an overlooked back office she shares with a cockroach or two-Magnolia seethes from the sidelines as Bebe turns her beloved, once-profitable Lady into a sideshow. As things go from bad to worse, Magnolia fears that her career will never recover, but even she can’t predict how deeply satisfying her eventual triumph will be. And not just at work: amidst the frenzy of backstabbing at the office, Magnolia finds Mr. Right in a city of Mr. Not-Quites.
Inspired by real-life events, Little Pink Slips is about the fall, rise, and sweet revenge of a woman who witnesses corporate shenanigans at their most flagrant. Filled with gossipy revelations about celebrity obsession and behind-the-scenes details of the media business in all its malfeasant glory, this novel is delicious, can’t-stop-reading fun.
** Spoiler alert **
The story starts with Magnolia as an insecure magazine editor-in-chief; it ends with her has an insecure magazine editor-in-chief.
I didn’t know anything about this book when I picked it. I had just finished two WWII books and wanted something lighthearted. The quick description and cover suggested this would be an easy read. It was. And it was interesting to watch Magnolia navigate her life and career, but she doesn’t change throughout the story, which is a deal breaker for me. And it doesn’t make sense that she doesn’t change — every man who knows her hits on her (so she’s obviously attractive), she has a good job and makes a ton of money, she had a great group of family and friends. Despite everything, however, she doesn’t make new friends, she doesn’t find a better job, she doesn’t value herself as person and not just an employee.
The ending disappointed me — I wanted to root for Magnolia, but she basically ended up right where she started and with no indication that she learned anything or was considering changing anything about herself. But that’s okay, because the hot, talented, younger writer loved her anyway.
I actually was okay with this book until I started writing the review — the more I write, the more annoyed I become with the book. I’ll stop now. 🙂
(2.5 out of 5 stars)
*Nothing graphic, but some inappropriate relationships; a fair amount of swearing.