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This Could Hurt

A Novel

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About the Book

"Searing, sexy, and surprisingly funny, Jillian Medoff’s This Could Hurt burns through the pages. No one is safe in this cruel but compassionate take on corporate America. I loved it."—Marcy Dermansky, author of The Red Car

A funny and deeply felt novel that illuminates the pivotal role of work in our lives—a riveting fusion of The Nest, Up in the Air, and Then We Came to the End that captures the emotional complexities of five HR colleagues trying to balance ambition, hope, and fear as their small company is buffeted by economic forces that threaten to upend them.

Rosa Guerrero beat the odds as she rose to the top of the corporate world. An attractive woman of a certain age, the longtime chief of human resources at Ellery Consumer Research is still a formidable presence, even if her most vital days are behind her. A leader who wields power with grace and discretion, she has earned the devotion and loyalty of her staff. No one admires Rosa more than her doting lieutenant Leo Smalls, a benefits vice president whose whole world is Ellery.

While Rosa is consumed with trying to address the needs of her staff within the ever-constricting limits of the company’s bottom line, her associate director, Rob Hirsch, a middle-aged, happily married father of two, finds himself drawing closer to his "work wife," Lucy Bender, an enterprising single woman searching for something—a romance, a promotion—to fill the vacuum in her personal life. For Kenny Verville, a senior manager with an MBA, Ellery is a temporary stepping-stone to bigger and better places—that is, if his high-powered wife has her way.

Compelling, flawed, and heartbreakingly human, these men and women scheme, fall in and out of love, and nurture dreams big and small. As their individual circumstances shift, one thing remains constant—Rosa, the sun around whom they all orbit. When her world begins to crumble, the implications for everyone are profound, and Leo, Rob, Lucy, and Kenny find themselves changed in ways beyond their reckoning.

Jillian Medoff explores the inner workings of an American company in all its brilliant, insane, comforting, and terrifying glory. Authentic, razor-sharp, and achingly funny, This Could Hurt is a novel about work, loneliness, love, and loyalty; about sudden reversals and unexpected windfalls; a novel about life.

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Critical Praise

“Jillian Medoff is one of those talented writers who make other less talented writers (myself) want to write flattering blurbs. Funny, painful, and ultimately redemptive, THIS COULD HURT is a beautifully drawn canvas of corporate America in all its lunacy. THIS COULD HURT won’t. Hurt, I mean. See? I told you I wasn’t a good writer.” —John Kenney, Thurber Prize-winning author of Truth In Advertising

“You wouldn’t expect a corporate HR department to house a thrill-ride of a novel, but Jillian Medoff pulls off the impossible here.  Funny, searing and wholly original, THIS COULD HURT illuminates an ordinary American workplace and the characters who animate it.  With a sharp eye for the absurdities of modern office life, and even deeper compassion for her characters, Medoff knocks this one out of the park.” —Darin Strauss, author of More Than It Hurts You and Half a Life

“Tender and compelling, Jillian Medoff’s THIS COULD HURT reveals what happens when the ties that bind us start to fray and we are called upon to care for each other. That these relationships are among coworkers in an HR department makes them as unpredictable as they are hilarious but always real and always entertaining.” —George Hodgman, author of Bettyville  

“Searing, sexy and surprisingly funny, Jillian Medoff’s This Could Hurt burns through the pages. No one is safe in this cruel but compassionate take on corporate America. I loved it.” —Marcy Dermansky, author of The Red Car

Product Details

  • ISBN: 9780062660763
  • ISBN 10: 0062660764
  • Imprint: Harper
  • On Sale: 01/09/2018
  • Pages: 384
  • List Price: 33.50 CAD
  • BISAC1: FICTION / Humorous / General
  • BISAC2: FICTION / Literary

This Could Hurt by Jillian Medoff

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