Perfect Blend: A Novel

Perfect Blend: A Novel by Sue Margolis Read Free Book Online

Book: Perfect Blend: A Novel by Sue Margolis Read Free Book Online
Authors: Sue Margolis
Tags: Fiction, General, Humorous
teenager, Amy’s plan had always been to get her degree and then find a job with a charity. When she and her sister were growing up, their parents had always impressed upon them the importance of “giving something back.” Amy’s mum did her bit by volunteering a couple of afternoons a week at a local charity shop and gave it up only when she started working full time. Even now, one Saturday a month, her dad stood outside Marks & Spencer on the High Street and shook a Save the Children Fund charity box. Amy couldn’t remember a time when she wasn’t aware of Third World poverty and hunger.
    When she and Brian were students and he was going through his Marxist phase, she frequently would accuse him of ignoring the fact that many of the people dying from hunger and dirty water lived under so-called Marxist regimes. That was a red flag to Brian’s Marxist bull. Suffice it to say that he didn’t take kindly to her analysis.
    After graduating, Amy started looking for a job, but it seemed that money was tight and few of the big charities were taking on new staff. She applied for anything that came up, only to be told over and over that there were twenty applicants for every job and most of them had previous experience, even though none was required. She didn’t get a single interview.
    Then a friend from uni who had a job in PR told her that Dunstan Healey Fogg was looking for a junior account executive. The job appealed to Amy because the company had several charities on its books, for which they acted pro bono. At her interview it had been made clear that if she was offered a job with DHF, they would allow her to assist with some of those accounts. Two years after starting work with the company, that still hadn’t happened. When she asked why, her bosses said that since she was showing huge promise, they weren’t about to waste her talents on accounts that generated no revenue.
    Instead they used her talents to counsel apparently happily married male celebs who had been caught in bed with a couple of rubber-clad rent boys with pink ostrich feathers sticking out of their G-strings on how to handle the media. When she wasn’t doing that, she was planning the launch of another Hollywood A-lister’s insipid new fragrance or exercise DVD.
    She often thought about leaving, but it was hard. It wasn’t the money, although she had to admit to her shame that she had grown accustomed to expensive haircuts and being able to buy a pair of shoes or a bag simply because it took her fancy. The real reason she found it difficult to leave was that she was very good at her job and enjoyed the praise that came with that. What was more, the job involved writing, and that was something she had come to love.
    Until she came to DHF, Amy had no idea how good a writer she was. While she was at Sussex, she’d penned several pieces for the student newspaper on famine and the need to abolish Third World debt. After each piece appeared, students and tutors alike complimented her on her clear thinking and well-constructed arguments, but nobody mentioned the actual writing. Then, when she started work at DHF and hard-nosed journalists who usually made a point of binning press releases on receipt began seeking her out at press launches to congratulate her on her witty, attention-grabbing missives, it occurred to her that she might have a flair for writing.
    She also had a flair for coming up with wacky, offbeat ideas for media campaigns and launches. Amy’s “blue-sky thinking” was legendary at DHF. Pretty soon, she was rising through the company at a rate her bosses all agreed was extraordinary.
    Then DHF got into financial difficulties. One of the directors started taking out huge loans, which he used to invest heavily in the stock market. That wouldn’t have been a problem had he not used his shareholdings in DHF as security. No sooner had he been sacked than three of the fledgling companies he’d backed went bust. This meant that the

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