As the story builds and the women start to uncover secrets Ted has been keeping for decades, the suspense builds. Hart has created an engrossing, piercing look at the compromises and choices women make to succeed and thrive.
... incisive ... Hart invites readers to examine her characters with a critical eye while also treating those characters with compassion ... The central conflicts and tensions in The Work Wife spring from the ways characters interact with power or their lack of it. Hart examines the way power can be leveraged to violate, silence, and curtail the accomplishments of women like Phoebe while also engaging with how Phoebe develops a shrewd understanding of her own power ... Hart invites readers to examine this dilemma with empathetic scrutiny. She evinces the institutional and financial pressures that enable those with power to take advantage of people-pleasers and perfectionists (and, no surprise, these are often women) without letting her characters off the hook for their actions. Particularly with Zanne, whose role is the title of the novel, and whose storyline reflects elements of Hart’s own experiences as a personal assistant to a billionaire and his family, Hart explores just how much a person can rationalize or excuse before having to face their own complicity. The Work Wife’s nimble pacing and engaging storyline make it easy to devour. It is exhilarating to cheer on Zanne and Phoebe in their endeavors to reclaim the power and autonomy stolen from them ... t times both playful and intense, Hart’s debut novel strikes a satisfying balance between resolving individual stories and raising questions that will linger with the reader long after they leave the glimmering Hollywood spectacle of Hart’s creation and get back to work.
This book flies on a magic carpet of seamless, intricate detail, much of it from work experience the author acknowledges in an afterword. Whether we’re dropping in on Holly with her glam squad or watching in wonder as headset-wearing assistants track the movements of their bosses like world leaders, there’s never a moment's slip in authenticity or momentum ... Riveting details of a fascinating hidden world support a ruthless takedown of misogyny and entitlement. One hell of a debut.