I don’t read novels often. I guess I am drawn more to non-fiction, because I feel like I need to be able to walk away with some learning or approach to be happier or more productive. It may be silly, but it's true. But when I heard about the novel In Light of Recent Events by Amy Klinger (The Story Plant, 2022) and its lead character, Audrey Rohmer, navigating the 1990s American workplace, I wanted to read it. Perhaps it would bring back some happy and funny memories.
Audrey is 35, single, and trying to navigate some everyday big and little life stuff – from her father’s girlfriend to water cool gossip and office romance at work. Remember (and I’m sure, as Gen Xers, we do), going to work used to mean going to an actual OFFICE (!), not shuffling over to our desk at home in our blouse and sweatpants? Imagine that. Actually, I think the actual company office being a major setting in this book was some of why I liked it so much. I almost forgot what it’s like to be at a real office.
Audrey’s relatable life takes an interesting turn until an old family friend – now a famous Hollywood superstar – shows up at her door. I don’t mean for a quick visit, and what happens next is unexpected. How Audrey navigates this at the same time as her work affair, friendship evolutions and family changes shows how this character has a lot of heart. I found myself admiring her level-headedness and approach to life. Even though she may not feel like it, I feel like she is grounded. As a reader, it made me wonder how others in her situation would have handled everything.
This book also shows how people are still growing up in their thirties. I know we are still growing up, too. But it’s almost refreshing to see that perspective again. The character Pooter, who is her work assistant and partner in crime, lends some light and quirkiness to the mix, too.
As someone who doesn’t often choose to read many novels, I flew threw this book and felt a bit sad to say goodbye to Audrey. I would love to see a sequel, because I have so much hope and curiosity about what’s next for her! This is a great, easy read and I highly recommend it.