Doubleday | February 2019 | 304 pgs
Source: Library

Christine Butcher has a happy family with her husband and her young daughter. Working as a temp in a supermarket chain has allowed her a glimpse of Mina Appleton as a person other than the role of the store's top management. Through her meticulous work, she then caught the attention of Mina and the latter wants her to be her personal assistant. Christine has admired her capabilities from afar so she is thrilled to accept the offer. 

However, Mina's foresight of the store is different from her father's. While her father believes in fair trade and building connections with the farmers and suppliers, Mina's vision is more towards profits first and building an image to the store. Needless to say, their opinions clash and with her father's retirement approaches soon, Mina begins to take things into her own hands and forego promises and contracts which her father had first made. Christine, being Mina's PA, has chosen to close one eye (or both) considering her professionalism and her loyalty towards Mina. Her devotion to work gradually taken its toll on her marriage but Christine feels she couldn't say no to Mina. 

So for twenty years Christine devotes all her attention and life in assisting Mina. Throughout these years she has witnessed several discrepancies surrounding Mina's work attitudes and her secrets as well; and she is good in making things look good (or right) on behalf of Mina until a case which take both of them to court. 

Part psychological thriller and part court drama, The Secretary will question readers about work ethics and the fine line between obedience and obsession. The first half was a slow burn; as the focus was on the relationship between Mina and Christine. Mina is a tough boss, and I marvelled at Christine's ability in performing her job at top notch level under various circumstances. The second half was more onto the court procedural and Christine's emotions after learning that she has somehow gotten involved in Mina's plans and how she'd react to the consequences. 

Truth be told, I didn't know what to think of Christine. She was a devoted and a diligent employee; but I didn't agree with her thoughts on putting her family second and not saying no to Mina at times. And I didn't know what to think of that ending either; for all I know that conclusion will be staying in my mind for a while. 

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4 Responses
  1. Lark Says:

    I'm on the fence about reading this one. I'm not sure I'd like either character.

  2. Melody Says:

    Lark - I don't like either character, but the plot is intriguing enough to get me reading. :)

  3. Iliana Says:

    While I think both of the main characters don't sound very likeable, given that I've worked in many office settings I can get on board with the office politics type of scenario. So I think this would be an interesting read!

  4. Melody Says:

    Iliana - I don't think I've ever come across a suspense/thriller genre which feature a secretary as the main role and I'm glad to read this. I hope you'll enjoy reading this book when you get to it. :)

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