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Summary

A funny and deeply felt novel that illuminates the pivotal role of work in our lives - a riveting fusion of The Nest, Up in the Air, and Then We Came to the End that captures the emotional complexities of five HR colleagues trying to balance ambition, hope, and fear as their small company is buffeted by economic forces that threaten to upend them.

Rosa Guerrero beat the odds as she rose to the top of the corporate world. An attractive woman of a certain age, the longtime chief of human resources at Ellery Consumer Research is still a formidable presence, even if her most vital days are behind her. A leader who wields power with grace and discretion, she has earned the devotion and loyalty of her staff. No one admires Rosa more than her doting lieutenant Leo Smalls, a benefits vice president whose whole world is Ellery.

While Rosa is consumed with trying to address the needs of her staff within the ever-constricting limits of the company's bottom line, her associate director, Rob Hirsch, a middle-aged, happily married father of two, finds himself drawing closer to his "work wife", Lucy Bender, an enterprising single woman searching for something - a romance, a promotion - to fill the vacuum in her personal life. For Kenny Verville, a senior manager with an MBA, Ellery is a temporary stepping-stone to bigger and better places - that is, if his high-powered wife has her way.

Compelling, flawed, and heartbreakingly human, these men and women scheme, fall in and out of love, and nurture dreams big and small. As their individual circumstances shift, one thing remains constant - Rosa, the sun around whom they all orbit. When her world begins to crumble, the implications for everyone are profound, and Leo, Rob, Lucy, and Kenny find themselves changed in ways beyond their reckoning.

Jillian Medoff explores the inner workings of an American company in all its brilliant, insane, comforting, and terrifying glory. Authentic, razor-sharp, and achingly funny, This Could Hurt is a novel about work, loneliness, love, and loyalty; about sudden reversals and unexpected windfalls; a novel about life.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2018 Jillian Medoff (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

An everyday story of HR (Human Remains) folk

This Could Hurt is well-observed novel of office relations - their hopes, desperations, fears, ambitions, boredom - at a time of downturn in a corportate NYC.

We get to follow the lives of five characters who all have their 'dead sheep in a farmer's field' moment. How do they react to the feeling and evidence of balance sheets that the firm they work for might be headed down the pan. And them with it.

So many issues were explored or hinted at or caused me to think about. How do we define friendship? Can you have friends at work? Do we work to live or live to work? Is the ladder of your life up against the right wall? Or is it a matter of wrong ladder, wrong wall? Is there a right wall? Is there a perfect job? Is there a perfect mate? A perfect house? A perfect car? A perfect number of children? Is everything a vanity and striving after the wind? Was Ellery worth the aggro, the broken health, the broken hearts, the broken dreams, the broken trust, the broken intrinsic values, the broken human relationships. Is the brass ring of the corner office worth all the clinging to the wreckage, the backstabbing, the loss of self?

I thought story wandered about a bit, the ending not satisfactory - but then that might have been part of the author's intent. No contract is ever truly a done deal. T's are left uncrossed; i's undotted.

All the narrators were very good.

Worth the listen and I'm certainly glad the author tackled that cinderella department of corporate America HR so effectively.

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  • Donna D. Lewis
  • 05-02-18

Awesome!

I recognized these people from my own work life and Rosa is a favorite character. This book is smart and has a heart.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Victoria
  • 28-01-18

Surprised me.

I almost regretted this book. It took a while for me to get into the story which I blame a bit on how they introduce the characters. I think it made sense for reading a book but on audible it made it seem like they were going to chronicle true stories or something. Anyways this turned out to be an awesome book. I loved how the characters overlapped and how each story showed their perceptions on things going on.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Laurie Steward
  • 18-05-18

Porn!

This story started off pretty normal and then got very graphic regarding one of the characters and his spouse. Deleting.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • jacob
  • 28-02-18

pre-summer beach read?

Slow start, strong climax, protracted closing. Once it got going, I couldn't put it down, but got easily distracted while finishing the final few chapters. What little sex scenes there were seemed out of place. Read on a recommendation, and don't regret the time spent. Don't need to read again... B+

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  • Michaella P.
  • 22-02-18

Yawn

Boring and dull. Who cares. I Hated almost every character and didn’t find anyone interesting or engaging. Move on to another read.