You hear the phrase “Bond Girl” and you immediately think Plenty O’Toole, Holly Goodhead and Xenia Onatopp, the iconic hot chicks from the James Bond movie franchise. But reading BOND GIRL, Erin Duffy’s debut novel, and you can’t help but be reminded of memorable characters Bridget Jones (BRIDGET JONES’S DIARY by Helen Fielding) and Cannie Shapiro (Jennifer Weiner’s GOOD IN BED). Like her literary predecessors, Duffy draws on her own true life experience (hers in the world of fixed income sales) to flesh out a truly likable heroine who deserves her place on bookshelves.
"Alex Garrett is Bridget Jones getting past her charming boss, Daniel Cleaver. She’s Cannie Shapiro putting behind her the horrible boyfriend who wrote about sleeping with fat girls.... If you liked Bridget and Cannie, you will love Alex."
Alex Garrett, the main character in BOND GIRL, is hoping to live the dream in the Big Apple. She lands a coveted job on the sales floor of Cromwell Pierce, where she is quickly labeled “Girlie” by the predominantly male employees. Ribbed by the men --- all egged on, by the way, by her boss Chick --- she endures a wealth of embarrassments, such as becoming her boss’s “Excel slave,” lugging a 50-lb. wheel of Parmesan cheese from the Bronx to the office (with 100 hoagies in tow), and a folding chair for an office.
To her credit, Alex holds her own in the testosterone zone, working her way up from a glorified delivery girl to an associate in record time. Throughout the process, she starts dating one of her co-workers (never a good idea), Will, which is rife with secrets. No one in the office knows about their taboo relationship. And Alex never knows where Will is on the weekends.
When a new “Girlie,” Patty, is hired and starts making ridiculous treks to exotic locales at her boss’s request (like Philadelphia for cheese steaks), Alex takes Patty under her wing and finds some comfort in a female companion to vent with at work. Life is looking good: she has a new friend, her boyfriend makes exclusive plans to celebrate her birthday with her, and she gets an enormous bonus at work. Even the continued unwanted texts, calls, flowers and advances that come her way from a lascivious client can’t put a damper on her bright future.
Then the economy crashes, and her personal life goes south just as fast.
Alex Garrett is Bridget Jones getting past her charming boss, Daniel Cleaver. She’s Cannie Shapiro putting behind her the horrible boyfriend who wrote about sleeping with fat girls. She’s a new heroine who embodies such irresistible qualities as humor, awkward grace and vulnerability with a resolve to stay on the path she has set for herself, despite the obstacles. If you liked Bridget and Cannie, you will love Alex.
Reviewed by Roberta O'Hara on January 26, 2012