Melting in the Middle – Andy Howden

Funny with the chance of sadness. A wonderful parody of modern corporations, tinged with the sadness of job loss and relationship breakdown, speckled with the chance of new romance and hints of the brown stuff (chocolate). I simultaneously laughed and cried whilst reading this book, and I urge you to try it for yourself, with a generous side order of British chocolate.

Steve is a divorced Marketing Director for Grimleys Sweets and life is going fairly swimmingly (the divorce aside) until Grimleys is taken over by the parody of an Organisation that ironically is the American Company Schmaltz. Schmaltz is spearheaded by the evangelical Brad Hardman.

The takeover leaves Steve in an awkward position, working under Carole (a previous dalliance with whom caused the breakdown of his marriage) and being given the role of cutting his former marketing department’s headcount in half, all for £30K pa less than he was previously earning.

Relief from the day to day challenges of work, comes in the form of the beautiful Rachel. Rachel however comes with her own challenges for Steve. She is younger than dhim, deeply religious and the Daughter of a former bishop. She does however manage her deep sense of fun, with a love of punk rock, as well as her good works and religion.

Can Steve prevent the replacement of his firm’s UK chocolate bars with the sweeter, and in his opinion, inferior American counterparts, ably assisted by his corporate ‘partner in crime’, Salvatore? Is Steve able to overcome the issues with his relationship with Rachel? You will have to read for yourself to find out!


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