Saturday, July 07, 2007

Secretarial Wars


Secretarial Wars
by Linda Gould
(iUniverse / 0-595-27592-3 / June 2003 / 288 pages / $17.95)

Let's begin this review by stating that this book could easily hide in a forest of traditionally published books. The composition, editing, and proofreading have all been accomplished at a high level. In my opinion, and I always speak of this issue strictly as an opinion, even the cover is appropriate for the material within. Most of all, the literacy and vocabulary expressed within these pages is far beyond that of most POD books. Linda Gould's little swatch of comedic, dramatic, romantic, and mysterious chicklit is a highly commendable first effort for a new author. Eat your hearts out, POD author wannabes!

There is a bit of bad news, however it is only a bit. Before I go any further, I must remind the readers of this blog that, despite a few name games displayed on my websites, I am a man. Therefore, fans of the chickadee persuasion may want to view my criticism of this book as a testosterone problem. Secretarial Wars misses the five-star brass ring simply due to its lack of excitement. The story could use a little more sex, drugs, and rock and roll, a little more flash-bam-pow. The climax is outstanding, easily deserving of the long, slow buildup toward the inevitable release. The weakness of the story is that I could not get truly enthralled by the characters or their subplots. It was all just a little too ho-hum and so-what. Please place the accent on little.

Secretarial Wars is the story of three Washington, D.C., secretaries and the romantic fantasies they act out while trying to hold onto reality with one hand and their dreams with the other. The plot is set with a backdrop of a very Bush-like, fictional administration and the covert actions in which that administration may or may not be involved. Therein lies the mystery. Each of Ms. Gould's three secretaries pines for a local celebrity she cannot seem to reel into her dragnet. One is a local Redskins quarterback facing a controversial replacement by a younger rival. The second is an ex-place kicker for the Redskins who publishes the local muckraking rag. The third is a local rock star who has recently become quite famous in a band that sounds suspiciously like Emerson, Lake & Palmer plays Bad Company. This covers the romantic fantasy element. The drama filters into the plot through the machinations of competing secretaries at the Washington Peace Council, and some of the things these ladies do certainly qualifies as comedy. Although Secretarial Wars is not nearly as silly and frivolous as the movie 9 to 5, most readers will certainly flashback to its obvious similarities of plot and feminist genre.

Whether or not genuine fans of chicklit will love Secretarial Wars to death, I cannot say. I can declare this one hell of a quality work at a level to which all POD authors should aspire. Of course there are a few proofreading errors present, but, due to the actual, subtle nature of these errors, I doubt the average reader will even spot them. Linda Gould's second book is on the way, and I strongly encourage you, as a discriminating reader, to look for it. You will recognize it by a title and theme that will make you flashback to Bye Bye Birdie. Let's hope The Rock Star's Homecoming is as clever as the 1963 movie and as literary as Secretarial Wars.

See also: Tabitha's B&N Review
Tabitha's Authors Den Review
Interview with Linda Gould
Review of Linda Gould's The Rock Star's Homecoming
Review of Let's Play Ball

1 comment:

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