This Could Hurt: A Novel

  • From the Publisher
March 29, 2018

A razor-sharp 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.

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