Downtown, Apr 2004, 13.00, 336 pp.
In Lakeview, Illinois, art designer of office supplies like pink slips, Jane McGregor learns by email she is being indefinitely laid off. Jane never saw the pink slip coming because she felt safe as she was dating the Vice President of Midwest Division of Maximum Office Supplies. When she asks why, she is told that her boyfriend Mike Orepheus euphemistically furloughed her and kindly follows that up by ending their relationship.
Jane knows she offers few marketable skills, but needs money rather quickly to pay the rent and to pay of her maxed credit cards. The card debts bother her because she bought a new wardrobe so that Mike would be proud of her. As she struggles with unemployment, her father joins her in the ranks of the unemployed and her brother nags her to look for work. Only family friend Kyle Burton seems to be of any help, but how will Jane react when she learns his secret agenda is that he is in love with her and has been for a long time.
Though at times the lead female's alibis and laments can leave the reader bushed (this reviewer agrees with her sibling), this amusing chick lit tale pokes fun at the economic recovery (except in Illinois not Ohio). The humorous story line is mostly Jane's muses about the woes of her world as she struggles with her bills and the men in her life, not necessarily in that order. Sub-genre fans will say I Do to Cara Lockwood's latest comical contemporary caper.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner