Bookish Witch

The Contractors by Lisa Ko

Blurb (as on Amazon):

A split-screen view of the tech industry’s underbelly—and the unifying campaign of two distant women seeking to expose their employer—by Lisa Ko, award-winning author of The Leavers.

In this eye-opening short story, a tech reporter’s mistake unites two women eight thousand miles apart. One in New Jersey, one in the Philippines. Same name: Sandra Guzman. Same job: content moderators for a mega social media website. What transpires between them is a friendship that changes their perceptions of each other’s privilege and challenges the power of the very industry they work for.

Lisa Ko’s The Contractors is part of Out of Line, an incisive collection of funny, enraging, and hopeful stories of women’s empowerment and escape. Each piece can be read or listened to in a single thought-provoking sitting.

Genre: Fiction/Short Story

Pages: 29

Format: Kindle eBook

Price: 69 INR/$2.99

My rating: 3.6/5

Two women with the same name (Sandra Guzman) and the same job (social media content moderators) are united by a wrongly addressed email. What ensues is an eye-opening conversation about their varying, yet similar problems in personal and professional life. Will they be able to overcome these together?

What I liked about the book:

  • It reflects the struggle of women in the workplace.
  • It depicts how two women with the same name, same origin, and the same job, are being treated and paid differently, because of geopolitical reasons.
  • It’s a simple story about two women struggling with their lives to make ends meet.
  • This inspirational story shows how to face impossible conditions and still win, yet in different ways.
  • It is imaginative and yet a realistic plotline that illustrates how systemic worker abuses continue to exist because people, especially women are desperate for work while being paid at less than living wages.

What I did not like about the book:

  • The jobs of the women are not clearly defined and it took a while to get the hang of what they were doing.
  • The ending is a bit ambiguous, at least for me. I had to read it twice and am still confused about what really happened.

Quotable quotes:

  • For some reason, it feels easier to tell a stranger some of her deepest secrets because it is someone she will never meet.
  • She has followed all the rules, but the rules are not fair.
  • If she were on a soap opera, at least there would be a guaranteed happy ending, some resolution after the drama.
  • It’s a terrible feeling, to be pitied, to have thought you were excelling but then be reminded of how you weren’t.
  • What do you do with all your hurt? You eat it and keep it inside you.
  • You can’t have too many not-that-terrible things in a row.

Check out the book here:

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I’m participating in Blogchatter’s #TBRChallenge


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