Review: The Assistants by Camille Perri

Assistantspublished May 3, 2016
Putnam

This utterly current debut about a group of over-educated, underpaid, and heavily-indebted executive assistants accidentally becoming champions of over-educated, underpaid, and heavily-indebted executive assistants everywhere is a great book to stash in your beach bag then pass on to a friend.

Tina Fontana is assistant to the head of a huge media conglomerate. She makes his reservations, takes lunch orders and minutes for meetings, slices limes for his scandalously expensive tequila. She is loyal, hardworking, discreet, and living paycheck to paycheck. When an accounting error would allow her to pay off her remaining student loan debt the temptation is great. It is stealing. It is also pocket change to Titan Corporation. As she says, “There is enough money. There is so much money.” It’s just not her money.

It doesn’t take long for another woman in the accounting department to figure out what happened, but what she wants is for Tina to do the same for her friend. But this friend has a friend. And she has a friend.  And soon Tina, who likes to keep herself to herself, is the center of the attention of all the other Titan assistants who want out from under their student loans.

What follows is akin to an old-fashioned screwball comedy, with a little romance thrown in for good measure, as Tina’s lapse of judgment snowballs out of control. Tina and her co-conspirators are all 30 and under, and pop culture references abound – almost to excess. Still take this for what it is and enjoy the light fantasy. This would be a good pick for book clubs needing a lighthearted pick that can still foster serious discussion about ethics and the modern economy.

Happy Reading!

An advance galley of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest opinion.