Then We Came to the End by Joshua Ferris is a recent random pick off the library shelf. I didn’t realize at the time that I’d previously read and abandoned another of this author’s books. This time, I completed the book.
The story here is about a group of men and women who work for an advertising agency in Chicago which is rapidly shrinking due to a downturn in business. It is also about the employees reaction to news that their female boss has breast cancer. Both are weighty topics.
As a Chicago area native, I could relate to many local references in the novel. I’ve experienced business cutbacks as well so that too struck a painful chord. And even further, lost loved ones to breast cancer. The combination of the three made this an interesting read.
Despite the serious nature of the topics covered, Ferris interjects office humor which lightens the mood. I enjoyed the book almost all the way through. Towards the end, the story jumps to somewhere down the road in time and I felt like I missed something. It was as if the author thought it was time to wrap it up so he hit fast forward.
This is a short novel so I didn’t feel horribly cheated. I think Ferris is a writer with potential. I will keep my eyes open to see what he comes up with in the future. Much of this story hit home with me! I think anyone who has worked in an office will appreciate this novel.