Monday 12 September 2011

Working It Out by Nicola May

Working It Out is a self-published novel from author Nicola May.   It has a beautiful cover and looks extremely professional - the quality of the print and the paper is very good.

This is Ruby's story.  Ruby is 30, and has just been made redundant from her high flying marketing job.  She has the nice flat and the designer furniture, she's been living the good life and all of a sudden she is faced with unemployment.  

Ruby discovers a quote from Kahlil Gibran - the author of The Prophet, she realises how true it is and decides that she will no longer work long stressful hours in an unfulfilling job.
Work is love made visible.  And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy.
 Ruby formulates a plan, in order to find a job that she loves, she will take 12 temporary jobs over the next 12 months.  
The novel follows Ruby from job to job, meeting her work colleagues, her friends, family and neighbours.

This is a clever idea for a novel and enables Nicola May to introduce the reader to a wide and varied cast. Some of the characters are more developed than others - some have only minor parts.   Ruby takes on such a variety of jobs during her 12 months, but my favourite of her jobs was her first.  She was a nursing assistant in a retirement home for elderly celebrities.   It is during this job that the best characters were introduced, and where Ruby seemed to be very happy.

Working It Out is an easy read, it's fun and quirky and just a little bit different.  However, it is not without it's faults.

I liked Ruby as a character, she was genuine and kind hearted - spending time with her elderly neighbour and taking in an 'orphaned' dog.    Every now and then though her character seemed to change altogether and it was usually where men were concerned.

Ruby's kindness and goodness flew out of the window and she turned into what can only be called a slapper.  Every man she came across fancied her - she almost jumped every one of them.  It niggled me.

Whenever the story turned just a little romantic, the language became crude and just didn't fit with the characters.

On the whole though, it's a great idea for a novel and it's easy to read and puts a smile on your face - I'd just prefer Ruby to get her mind and her language out of the gutter sometimes.

Thanks to Nicola May for sending a copy to me to review.


  1. sounds interesting Anne, I found that with a book I reviewed that sometimes the language was almost used for effect and didn't really fit with what was going on at the time.


  2. Sounds as though this was a reasonable read and I would have enjoyed it had I been sent a copy for review, but doubt it is one I would buy having read your review.