Claudia Steiner’s life is like a train wreck. She has a dead end job as a secretary for a crazy and aging socialite who is a bestselling author; in actuality, Claudia ghostwrites the books for a mere pittance. She doesn’t make nearly enough to pay her numerous bills, including her rent in a ridiculously roach-infested Manhattan apartment. At twenty-nine, it is starting to look as if she won’t make it after all. Her own writing dreams might not come true.
She struggles to get through her days, barely managing to escape the constant yelling and criticism of her demanding boss, so she buries it all at night by visiting various clubs and drinking excessively. Her colorful friends are all staving off their own drudgery in the clubs at night, and I felt like I recognized a few of them from my own days in this scene.
Her life does have one bright spot: her lifelong friend William, whom she has known since they were classmates in a small town in Arizona. But she is also in love with him. What will become of her? How will she get him to reciprocate her feelings when she can’t even tell him how she feels?
Claudia’s first person narrative has a wry humor to it. She seems to be laughing at herself and her many foibles as she shares what life is like for her. As much as I cringed whenever Claudia made still another error in judgment, I also smiled inwardly and with fondness. There is something so appealing about this young woman that made me root for her.
In the end, when her life seemingly implodes and lies around her like so many broken eggshells, she still manages to pick herself up and figure out what to do next. I loved In the Drink: A Novel and enjoyed reading every page. A definite five star read from an author who has rapidly become one of my favorites.