I took a break from my current WIP to catch up on the tower of books waiting for me on my nightstand. I've had BITTER IS THE NEW BLACK by Jen Lancaster for a while but haven't read it mostly because I'm not the hugest fan of memoirs. The other night I picked it up and couldn't put it down.
I'm happy to report that BITTER IS THE NEW BLACK did not disappoint. I was pretty much sucked into Jen's life and her relationships with her fiance, parents, and co-workers from the first page. It's the true story of a girl who had everything but then lost almost everything soon after 9/11 when she got laid off from her six-figure corporate job. For two years, she searched for comparable jobs to maintain her lavish lifestyle. When the job interviews didn't pan out, she tried (and mostly failed) to get even the most menial jobs in an effort to simply survive. She went from living in a trendy loft Chicago apartment and Prada handbags to living in a place on the other side of the tracks and using Crisco oil as lip gloss. Her story was happy, sad, and heartwarming all at the same time.
What was uplifting was that she never gave up, never stopped believing in herself, and then finally realized that she needed to reinvent herself if she wanted to survive. She chartered her new path with plenty of tears, humor, and the occasional martini. I loved Jen's very honest unapologetic writing style and outlook. Any woman (or man) who relies on a job to define herself should read Jen's book. That's because the perfect job and lifestyle could disappear in an instant.
She's got another book coming out in May called PRETTY IN PLAID. I think I'll pick that one up, too.