(In which there are things that will always matter more.)
I have a habit of writing the day I started reading a book (in complete date, day and time) and the day I finished it (in the same exact specifics). After finishing The Devil Wears Prada, I wrote at the last page that I unfortunately never got the chance to write the start date for this book, and that it might have been sitting in my Currently Reading list for four or five months. Awful, I know. But let's just all try to swear by "It's better late than never" and move on.
Another grownup rule people try to live by is that there should be a balance between life outside and inside the workplace. Sounds pretty doable. The only problem that could actually arise is when work somehow is a person's gateway to life. Which is exactly Andrea Sachs' dilemma.
Fresh out of college, Andrea dreams of getting published as a writer in no less than The New Yorker. But the requisite for the position includes years of experience and networks.
Her first job is to be a junior assistant to Miranda Priestly, the editor-in-chief of Runway magazine. During her interview, she was conditioned that she was just very lucky to work for Miranda, one of the most powerful icons in the fashion industry; and that working for only a year for her will guarantee her passport to any magazine she wants to work for afterwards. After calculating how definitely easier it is to work for one year in Runway compared to several years in other magazines, she decided it is worth a try. Nevermind that she couldn't care less about fashion than what the next person had for breakfast. But, hey! It might just really be a job "a million girls will die for"!
Working for Runway really turns out to be an awesome shocker for her. What with all the fashionably dressed, super tall and impossibly skinny models clad in the latest and even not-yet-available-in-stores designer clothes and everything. She also wonders how these people could survive in greens and Diet Coke. And most importantly, how simply everyone could just spend every single day working for the demon assigned to rule over the hell that was Runway.
Miranda Priestly proves herself not only as a powerful lady but the most eccentric, rude, unhappy and downright evil boss of the millenium. Andrea spends at least 6 days a week doing unimaginable tasks, from tracing a nonexistent Asian fusion restaurant or antique shop to running errands for Miranda's utterly spoiled twins, all the while keeping her eye on the prize and counting every single month.
But just when her 365 days of hell was just a couple of months away, Andrea is faced not only with the fact that Miranda will bark on her phone early morning to ask her yet another eccentric order but with the realization that her bestfriend is on the verge of being an alcoholic, that her parents haven't seen her in months and that her relationship with her three-year boyfriend is turning the wrong way.
And in the middle of an impossibly inhuman juggling act, Andrea makes a decision to catch all she can handle before everything else shatters to the ground in one, rather surprising swoop.
Enlightening and upfront refreshing, Lauren Weisberger's narration bursts with sarcasm and wit. Her portrayal of characters are relevant and timely. Andrea is the epitome of a modern working girl's dilemma. Miranda a (possible) victim of a corporate vicious cycle.
The novel was a fun and contemporary Faustian bargain. But fortunately, Weisberger offers a way out, albeit an expensive one.