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Piece of Work

liked it 3.00  ·  Rating details ·  396 ratings  ·  58 reviews
Julia Einstein never wanted to return to her high-stress job of celebrity publicist. But when her husband loses his job, she has no choice but to reenter the world of monstrous egos, imperfect illusions, and 24-hour spin--a world she thought she had left behind forever when she had a baby three years ago and moved to the suburbs.
Stranded now at a third-rate publicity firm
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published September 25th 2006 by Warner Books (first published January 1st 2006)
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liked it Average rating 3.00  · 
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Jul 25, 2010 rated it liked it
Piece of Work (Laura Zigman)

Julia Einstein is a typical stay at home mother of a three year old boy. Her life is filled with preschool, play-dates and cheese-ball stains on her clothing. Then one day her husband Peter comes home and tells her he lost his job.

Julia finds herself back in the workforce as a Publicist for has been actresses/actors. Her boss is a jerk and her client, the aging Mary Ford is demanding, rude, and a big handful. Obstacles along the way at work challenge her, yet she is d
May 27, 2009 rated it it was ok
did not keep my interest very well so I only read about half the book.
Walid Nasrallah
Jul 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quick pleasant read with no surprises

Like the faded oversized yoga pants that Julia Einstein never did yoga in, this chick-lit novel does not assume to be more than the vicarious feel-good wish-fulfilment vehicle it is. An altogether pleasant read, masterfully done by the reigning mistress of the thinly-disguised semi-autobiographical early-2000's New York City novel.
Aug 16, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
While this is another book about the conflict women face when they have to balance work life and family life, Julia Einstein is a likable protagonist and Zigman does a fine job of introducing some quirky characters. The old-time movie star on the road to a comeback, Mary Ford, is terrifying in her insistence on playing the diva in real life. Julia's boss at the PR form is a weasly guy well worth the readers contempt. Julia's husband evolves as he recovers from being fired and finds his niche at ...more
Summer read. Chick lit.
Daomi Strickland
Mar 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-not-owned
I loved this audio book. Just what I needed and with a great narrator. It was a light, fun chick-lit with a happily married couple who were forced to change roles due to the husband losing his job. Fun, and refreshing!
Maria (Ri)
My review for Armchair Interviews:

Julia Einstein is gladly a stay at home mom to three year old Leo, more than happy to have left behind her jet setting career as a celebrity publicist. Life is great until her husband loses his job. Julia stresses while watching the savings dwindle and her husband seem less and less interested in finding a job, any job. With much reluctance, Julia throws herself back into the work world, but discovers in the fickle world of publicity, all she is able to get is a
May 09, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 08, 2009 rated it liked it
I was relating to the main character from page one with her own domestic un-goddessness and her completely relatable love for her son, enjoying every moment with him. I even found myself enheartened as Julia is relating the loneliness of being a stay-at-home mom and how hurt she is by the "three bitches" at the park who hate her even though she's never even spoken to them. Sadly, her stay-at-home days are cut short when when her husband Peter, is laid off from his job and she is forced to switch ...more
Apr 17, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: moms and stay at home Dads
Shelves: women-s-fiction
Once in a while I feel the need to read something that affirms my current place in life. Laura Zigman's "Piece of Work" lured me in on page one with

"Toddlers, she remembered hearing someone say, were like big tyrants of tiny countries, and judging from the way Leo had her running around most of the time, she couldn't have agreed more....Demanding, insatiably needy, and all ego and id, he was still by far the best boss she'd ever had."

Personally in the grips of raising the last of my own little
Jan 12, 2013 rated it it was ok
Confession time: my low rating for this book has little to do with the writing quality (that was quite good) or Laura Zigman's ability to create a believable image of the world she is writing about. I just disliked pretty much every character in the book. Even the MC, whom it was the clear the reader (me... this book was clearly marketed as a book for moms)should most relate to, irked me with her feelings toward her husband, her parents, her boss, etc... Perhaps I saw too much of myself in her. ...more
Oct 27, 2008 rated it it was ok
I really wanted to like this book because the premise was so promising. It was too slow moving -- I felt like nothing had happened whatsoever in the first 100 pages -- though it is the kind of book that should have plenty of "happenings" Then everything advances and comes together in the last chapter and there is more action there than the entire book. Anyway, I tried to think of who I could recommend this book to but really it doesn't seem suited to stay-at-home moms or working moms. Maybe it i ...more
Sep 30, 2008 rated it it was ok
This book was really disappointing. It had such a great premise -- a stay-at-home mom is forced to return to her previous profession as a celebrity publicist when her husband loses his job, and she has to deal with the challenges of work re-entry, becoming the sole breadwinner, and babysitting a grumpy has-been.

But the story soon peters out. None of the various storylines ever is fully fleshed out. The relationship with her husband -- who is doing a better job of being a stay-at-home mom than sh
Jan 06, 2008 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Chick-lit fans
I loved "Animal Husbandry" and so I was happy to see that Laura Zigman had written a new novel. That being said, I think this wasn't her best effort. The characters are somewhat interesting, at times, but she falls into that inevitable trap that most chick-lit writers do of not being able to write men convincingly. It's a puzzle, because she wrote her male characters fairly well in "Animal Husbandry" and in this one, she just seems to have lost her voice. I won't say it's a bad novel, there are ...more
Feb 15, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
Very light. Entertaining. I found her perception of the life of a stay-at-home mom to be very unrealistic. At first I thought the author must not be a mother but then I realized she has only one child. And while the characters from her working life are dynamic and fleshed- out, the other mothers are cardboard caricature stereotypes. Further, her notion that parents who stay home just need someone to swoop in and teach them how to organize their lives is laughable, if not mildly offensive. Howeve ...more
Oct 13, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2013, kindle
A mum goes back to work for a publicity company when her husband loses his job. She misses the little moments at home and is torn when her husband gets the home running smoothly along with files for the members of the PTA with his time management skills. She's given the job of helping a actress from the past get back into the limelight with the launch of a new perfume. Unfortunately she faces some huge problems with the actress, the perfume and her boss attempts to sabotage the comeback for some ...more
Fawn Butler
A women goes back to work after being a stay at home mom for 3 years and her husband loses her job. She works in PR and gets assigned a has-been actress who requires more work than her three year. When she comes home after trying days at the office she learns that her husband is doing a better job than her. It's a bit dry at times and I found the main character annoying, but it wasn't terrible to read while in a plane for 17 hours. ...more
Jan 05, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: chick-lit
Among the many books my sister handed me over my Christmas break, this book was a quick, chick-litty read about a woman who has to go back to work because her husband lost his job. She hates leaving her "Scooby" (her son - blech!) but in the end realizes that she enjoys her job in publicity and her husband is pretty good at taking care of their son and the house. I wanted to smack the main character a few times ... I don't have a kid, so maybe that's why. ...more
Mar 24, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: chic-lit
Julia has left the world of celebrities behind to become a full time mom. When her husband is laid off she has to try to pick up where she left off and begins working for a new agency whose major client is an old has been actress (Joan Crawford type) trying to make a comeback. Missing her son, jealous of her husband who gets to stay at home and organize things, and trying to be successful all try to get her down. But once again the powers of a woman win out. Cute.
Oct 30, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: general-fiction
Julia is forced to return to work as a celebrity publicist when her husband is laid off. In truth she would like nothing more than to stay at home with her beloved three-year-old son. Instead she finds herself handling the dwindling career of a Hollywood has-been diva hoping to stage a major come-back. This book was a roller coaster ride through the world of fame with plenty of name-dropping and humor. Terrific ending!
Jan 09, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I went with it at the beginning, when Julia's life started to change, but got increasingly fed up as the book went on. Julia was supposed to be awesome at her job, but nothing we saw ever showed that. She whined about her family situation and having to work, but her family was supportive in every way possible and I just didn't buy that she couldn't operate a cell phone or tell when her boss was swindling her. All in all, just not worth the time. ...more
Jul 30, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Laura Zigman, fellow alumna of Newton North High School and of the Radcliffe Publishing Course, is as warm and delightful in person as are her books. Many of the situations the heroine experienced while taking this diva on the road rang true to my own publishing experiences. ...more
Heather B.
Feb 11, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The author is definitely a mother of a young child, because she perfectly captures many of the minutiae of stay at home motherhood. I especially liked the reference to Gymboree and how every square inch had been coughed, spit, or vomited on. Ain't that the truth! I may not have liked the book as much before having kids. ...more
Feb 12, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: chicklit
This book wasn't exceptionally well written but it was what I expected . . . enjoyable fluff. Everything was tied up a little too neatly at the end and at times the main character was a PR pro but at other times she was a bit of an idiot when it came to client relations and dealing with her boss. That being said, I didn't mind it. Not one of the author's best books but I read it in a week. ...more
Jul 24, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Ok, not to be mean, but this was a piece of crap. I was so glad to be done with this book. The author went off topic so many times that I would forget what was going on when she finally got back on track. I am surprised though, since she wrote the book that the movie 'Someone Like You' (with Ashley Judd and Hugh Jackman are in)and i like that movie. But basicly, don't waste your time. ...more
Jan 31, 2009 rated it liked it
complete book candy. a quick read (two nights). entertaining, but not a lot more. there were glimpses of some real stuff -- brief sections on the work/motherhood balance that could have been really great, but they were just barely touched. but, a good book to read in between books or on the airplane.
Nov 12, 2009 rated it it was ok
I'm not reading any more books in this particular "genre", the career woman/New Yorker/whatever genre. I couldn't even finish the audio book. And seriously if PR people let their washed up actors who actually need their help physically "poke" them without getting a big slap something is messed up here. just a big "MEH" for this one and I really liked Animal Husbandry. ...more
Jul 27, 2010 rated it did not like it
This book just didn't click for me. I read the first 50 pages because someone once told me you can't judge a book until you are at least 50 pages in but it just didn't take. I thought the author tended to go off on tangents and when she came back to the point I would just be annoyed at all the extra stuff in between that was just not neccessary. Just my opinion. ...more
Oct 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book! My favorite part about it is that it's chick lit with a happily married husband and wife, and they stay happily married all throughout! It made me laugh and could really feel for the main character. I sort of chose this book on accident, but it ended up being well worth it! :-) ...more
Jul 22, 2007 rated it liked it
A mother goes from being a stay-at-home mom to being the only source of income for her family. The woman's husband becomes a stay-at-home dad while his wife endures a horrible client. A light and fun read. ...more
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Laura Zigman grew up in Newton, Massachusetts, and graduated from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and the Radcliffe Publishing Procedures Course.

She spent ten years working in New York in book publishing where she was a publicist for Times Books, Vintage Books, Turtle Bay Books, Atlantic Monthly Press, and Alfred A. Knopf.

After moving to Washington, D.C. and working briefly as a project

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