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“Miss Understanding ”

Written on: 03/09/2006 by Harriet Klausner (18637 reviews written)

Miss Understanding

Stephanie Lessing

Avon, Nov 2006, $12.95

ISBN 0061133884

Publisher Dan Princely thinks highly of his sister-in-law's concept to renovate Issues magazine from its non cerebral past of shoes and shopping to focus on female empowerment. He hires his wife's sister sartorial-phobic Zoe Rose to revamp the magazine.

The under 5 foot under 100 pounds dynamo Zoe changes the name from Issues to Miss Understanding, but fails to sell the staff with the concept of an unentertaining how to get ahead "technical" manual. The staff loathes the concept and detests the aggressive Naopleanette. Separately each vows to destroy Zoe and get royal Dan to fire the royal pain in the butt. Soon battle lines are drawn between the stylish staff and Dan's queen mother vs. the ranting anti frilly Zoe supported solely by her as righteous sibling Chloe.

Satirical though humorless, Miss Understanding focuses on the war between the "always right morally correct" (in their minds) and "my way or the highway puerile" (sort of sounds like the political parties). As the attacks on Zoe rise, she turns even more obstinate and self indulgent claiming the moral high ground while her enemies become more vindictive, which embellishes the spiral as no one heard of compromise and consensus. Fans of out of control office war character studies will want to read Stephanie Lessing's sequel to She's Got Issues as this time the sister has the issues.

Harriet Klausner

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