A fresh new British talent is revealed in this entertaining debut, where Sarah Harris anatomises the not-so-brilliant careers of three aspiring 20-somethings in the unforgiving worlds of television news and parliamentary politics.
A novel about female ambition today, WASTING TIME opens with three nail-biting job interviews: Ellen’s for producer on ‘Fast News’ tv programme; Myra’s for press officer for the Pluralists; and Susan’s for secretary at Dutton’s department store. Each girl has her own particular hang-ups. Ellen is uptight, paralysed by her desperate attempts to keep up with world events. Myra is disorganised, can’t keep a boyfriend or sustain her commitment to all the ‘causes’ she adopts. Meanwhile Susan’s naivety makes her open to victimisation by cynical colleagues. Ellen, Myra and Susan don’t know each other, but by the end of the novel their paths have crossed with significant results. As for the reader, these girls hold up a dizzying mirror of self-recognition in a novel both bitingly true and ultimately poignant.