Reviewed by David Giver
Ninety days of winter. Ninety days of snow. Ninety days of discovery. And four days of love.
Jack on a downward trajectory, and Odile moving in much the same direction, share a few moments at where those two lines meet. And it is because of their chance meeting that those trajectories, those trajectories of their respective existences, are forever changed.
These two messy lives come together in mathematical proof that two negatives do make a positive, if even for just a short time. Meno shows lives that are mired in pain and self-loathing, yet you can see yourself, and for that matter your own life, in one, if not both, of these characters and their stories. They want for meaning, but they have an obvious uncertainty of how, at all, to obtain it. Knowing what they want, what they need, but also being unwilling to mouth the simple words that would free them.
Office Girl is a book of life, both the messy and not so messy aspects that make a person who they are. And like the author only knows so well, Hollywood will one day adapt this story and give these lovers a more perfect or desired ending, but would the story be as real if the realities of it were altered? I am afraid it would not. Life is series of sometimes unfortunate events like divorce, adultery, medical disasters, lost dreams, and the fortunate happening that hope for a better future can still live amongst that weight, if one can just start over, a new.
This is a book of hope dressed up in a parka and gloves, in the hope that the winter of one’s life (suffering) can be traversed, and a spring of new beginnings found. Office Girl is an amazing read that leaves you worrying not about your own future, but of the future of characters that are known to be the creations of fiction, because it may just give hope to the rest of us, and our own messy lives.