Guest Editor, Brooke Simmons from Pursuit Communications
When offered a list of books to review for Sassi Sam I literally jumped at the chance to read Wendy Squires novel, The Boys Club as someone who works in the public relations and media “game” I wanted to read Wendy\’s take on the industry through her first novel.
With her vast experience â€“ Wendy has been a newspaper & magazine journalist and editor for more than 20 years except for the 12 months she spent as Publicity Director at a major television network – she has certainly seen it all and her novel illustrates this fact!
At the opening of The Boys’ Club, Wendy states “No character described in this book bears any resemblance to any real person and any possible similarity is therefore purely coincidental”. One can\’t help but think that the beauty of artistic licence has been used in The Boys’ Club.
The novel effectively illustrates the true nature of the public relations industry, the push to always look for new and creative ways to promote your clients in the best light possible, trying to figure out which media will offer the most effective coverage, without savaging them to death and the fact that one minute you can be riding an absolute high and the next, an issue – which can appear to be more pressing than anything Barack Obama has to deal with, presents itself demanding your urgent attention.
Central character Rosie Lang is introduced to readers with such a situation. At the beginning of her public relations career at Channel 6 â€“ she\’s awoken by her ill child and the repercussions of a wayward station identity after a night out, all needing her attention at the same time. Throughout the novel Rosie faces continual dilemmas at Channel 6 which bears an uncanny resemblance to Channel 9, complete with Kerry Packer characterisation through Rosie\’s boss Big Keith.
Rosie, a journalist in her previous life, finds herself at the mercy of her former co-workers at The Sentinal (which carries many qualities of daily papers in Sydney) in order to protect or promote her new place of employment, which seems to be a daily occurrence for her.
Touted as Bridget Jones meetsÂ Devil Wears Prada in the brutal world of TV, this book offers more than just a darned good read. I could really identify with Rosie and Wendy Squires manages to cover a gamete of female issues, which many readers will identify. Rosie faces everything from divorce, how to pick-up, mothering issues, weight loss battles, glass ceiling manifestations and as the title alludes, boys club attitudes. Ms. Squires manages cover all of these issues without adding too much fluff.
Through Rosie\’s trials and tribulations, the novel poses questions to the reader, including where do you draw the line between a work-life balance â€“ a problematical question especially when a child is involved, as is the case for Rosie with her four year old son Leon.
I couldn\’t wait to continue reading The Boys Club to and from work, as I ate my lunch, dinner and in bed â€“ I finished it in less than 3 days. It\’s a far cry from the regular “chick-lit” novels that are available at the moment; The Boys Club is novel that reinforces the importance of family values and self-belief.
Personally, I can\’t wait to read what Wendy and Rosie do next!
Available now:Â Random House RRP$32.95