A Cowardly Woman No More

Highbridge Audio. Jun. 2023. 6:54 hrs. ISBN 9781696612395. $19.99. F
The day is the company’s Banquet Day; the location, the Rose & Emerald, a rural inn. Trisha Donahue might’ve stayed home, knowing she’d been passed over for a promotion that seemed practically made for her, but the grand old country inn has been a place of fascination since her childhood, and her absence would be noted. So, a single day of reminiscence unfolds, shadowed by old-guard misogyny and midlife uncertainty but lit by encounters with old friends and the tale of a comet. Cooney’s (One Night Two Souls Went Walking) 11th novel will resonate with listeners who commiserate with workplace indignities or the ups and downs of making a living just outside Boston. Narrator Samantha Desz infuses Trisha’s voice with just the right balance of long-suffering annoyance and reflective humor, keeping her open to small joys in the present (the Rose & Emerald’s homemade whipped cream) and optimism for the future even while she ruminates over past insults.
VERDICT In this smart, fanciful slice of life, a woman finds she has the courage to defy her corporate bosses in the male-dominated Massachusetts tech sphere. Excellent audiobook narration captures her frustrated ambition and a wealth of well-characterized emotion.
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