Review

Pounding the Pavement

by Jennifer van der Kwast



Have you ever heard the expression, "the only thing worse than
having a job is looking for one?" Debut novelist Jennifer van der
Kwast knows this all too well. In POUNDING THE PAVEMENT,
twenty-something Sarah Pelletier tries to make ends meet in New
York City after being laid off from the hip, independent film
company where she works. When the months of unemployment add up and
her spirits decrease, she decides to seek out the aid of a
headhunter. Despite her impressive writing skills and experience,
jobs in film are few and far between. Still, she tries to be
flexible and with her headhunter's urging, she goes on almost any
interview they get her. Her parents also try to help out, much to
Sarah's chagrin, by sending her law school applications --- hint,
hint. She evens goes so far as to apply at a lifestyle magazine in
Aspen, but nothing seems to pan out.

Amid all this chaos, Sarah meets Jake, a budding filmmaker, while
training on a temp job. He's funny, sweet and super-savvy about all
things film. Sarah learns that he has just recently gone through a
nasty breakup with his live-in girlfriend. So, even considering
Jake as a dating prospect would be out of the question, right?
Well, our heroine soon learns that things never go quite as
planned. After a few casual dates, it's clear there's an undeniable
chemistry that both Sarah and Jake feel compelled to explore.

First-time author Jennifer van der Kwast perfectly captures the
everyday pains as well as the simple pleasures of being unemployed
--- the pros and cons of the "career-challenged." Pro: you finally
get to sleep late. Con: you're too worried about money to sleep
late. Pro: you learn who your true friends are. Con: you learn who
your true friends are. Pro: you no longer have to be a slave to the
9-5. Con: you'd give anything to have some sort of schedule
again.

POUNDING THE PAVEMENT is a witty, pitch-perfect appraisal of what
life is really like when you're unemployed. Remember pouring over
the want ads, trying to convince yourself what a good telemarketer
you'd be if you had to? Waiting for the phone to ring, hoping it's
a job offer when you used to wait for the phone to ring, hoping it
was a guy? Sure you do. And so does the author, who brings it all
so vividly, so comically, so cringe-inducingly, to life. This novel
speaks to everyone who's ever had a job or had to look for a job,
so that's pretty much everyone, except the idle rich. But honestly,
they'll love POUNDING THE PAVEMENT too.

Reviewed by Bronwyn Miller on January 19, 2011

Pounding the Pavement
by Jennifer van der Kwast

  • Publication Date: June 28, 2005
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway
  • ISBN-10: 076791953X
  • ISBN-13: 9780767919531