I Hope This Finds You Well by Natalie Sue is a debut novel, and it was fantastic. Interesting, insightful and a lot of fun.

Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. This post contains affiliate links. That means we receive a small commission at no cost to you from any purchases you make through these links.

i hope this finds you well by natalie sue

I Hope This Finds You Well by Natalie Sue

May 21, 2024

Read this if you want:

  • Something funny
  • Office havoc
  • Mental health rep 

Grab this book on Amazon

Jolene has long given up hope that her office life is anything other than a monotonous trudge broken up by colleagues weird and annoying behaviour and passive aggressive digs that all seemed designed specifically to test her boundaries. But, she has come up with the perfect way of coping. White text p.s. messages at the bottom of emails so she can vent her grievances. Which is all fine, until one particularly stressful day she forgets to change the text to white. Now she has to attend sensitivity training with the new HR guy Cliff, who can’t possibly be the good person he pretends to be, and have her emails monitored. Only there is a massive IT mix up and she suddenly has access to everyone’s emails and instant messages. It’s perfect. With layoffs around the corner she has found a way to stay ahead of her hellish colleagues. Only when she starts seeing the secret details of their lives it doesn’t seem quite as simple as she first thought and maybe coming outside of cubicle wouldn’t be the nightmare she imagined.

I can be accused of being a bit boring, I don’t often stray outside of the authors and genres I know I like, but in this instance, I am so glad I did. This is Natalie Sue’s debut novel, and it was fantastic. Interesting, insightful and a lot of fun. And if you, like me, work or have worked in an office environment before this book will touch you on a visceral level. We have all had to sit at our desk and put up with the horrible smell of someone else’s reheated lunch or been subject to passive aggressive barbed words barely disguised as polite chit chat or had that boss. It made it so much easier to empathise with the Jolene. As even when she was a bit unlikable, she was completely understandable.

This book tackles a number of issues; grief, bullying, family, mental health and alcoholism to name a few. Jolene carries a lot of emotional baggage and seeing how that has isolated her from both her family and anyone who tries to befriend her can be a heart wrenching and frustrating experience. This book is told from her POV and although she isn’t an unreliable narrator per se, we as the reader can see how some of the choices she makes are less about what is happening externally, and more about the filters she has in her own mind to interpret what is happening. Essentially, she misleads herself. Her having access to everyone’s emails and instant messages finally gives her an insight into the people around her that she just can’t seem to get to on her own.  It is the perfect set up for a story that is both emotional and moving and downright hilarious. All with a little bit of romance on the side.

I Hope This Finds You Well has been one of my favourite reads of this year and I recommend giving it a try. It was uplifting, funny and insightful and may make you look at your work colleagues in a slightly kinder light. This is only Natalie Sue’s debut, I don’t know what she will bring out next but I do know I will be reading it.

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