“Laura Blackett and Eve Gleichman are linguistic magicians, and their sparkling debut manages to expose the hollowness of well-being jargon while exploring, with tender care and precision, how we dare to move on after unspeakable loss . . . [They have] constructed a mirrored fun house, one that leads us down different paths, each masterfully tied up at the end, yet reflecting and refracting our own quirky selves.”
—New York Times Book Review, An Editors' Choice
“A very funny debut — and perhaps the most original office satire of the year.”
For fans of Elinor Oliphant Is Completely Fine and Severance: an offbeat, wryly funny debut novel that follows an eccentric product engineer who works for a hip furniture company where sweeping corporate change lands her under the purview of a startlingly charismatic boss who seems determined to get close to her at all costs . . .
Ava Simon designs storage boxes for STÄDA, a slick Brooklyn-based furniture company. She’s hard-working, obsessive, and heartbroken from a tragedy that killed her girlfriend and upended her life. It’s been years since she’s let anyone in.
But when Ava’s new boss—the young and magnetic Mat Putnam—offers Ava a ride home one afternoon, an unlikely relationship blossoms. Ava remembers how rewarding it can be to open up—and, despite her instincts, she becomes enamored. But Mat isn’t who he claims to be, and the romance takes a sharp turn.
The Very Nice Box is a funny, suspenseful debut—with a shocking twist. It’s at once a send-up of male entitlement and a big-hearted account of grief, friendship, and trust.
About the Author
EVE GLEICHMAN’s short stories have appeared in the Kenyon Review, the Harvard Review,Bomb Daily, and elsewhere. Eve is a graduate of Brooklyn College’s Fiction MFA Program and lives in Brooklyn.
LAURA BLACKETT is a woodworker and writer based in Brooklyn.
A New York Times Editors' Choice One of Apple Books' Best Books of July A "Read Carolina" Book Club Pick One of Shondaland's "Best Books of July" One of Bustle's "Most Anticipated New Books of July 2021" One of LitHub's "New Books to Keep Your Summer Reading Going Strong" One of Alma's "Favorite Books for Summer 2021" One of LGBTQ Reads' "Most Anticipated" One of Beyond the Bookends' "Outstanding Reads" “Laura Blackett and Eve Gleichman are linguistic magicians, and their sparkling debut manages to expose the hollowness of well-being jargon while exploring, with tender care and precision, how we dare to move on after unspeakable loss . . . While themes in The Very Nice Box are clear-cut — heart versus head, form versus function, creativity versus commerce — their execution is anything but. The crowded action unfolds through comic set pieces, red herrings, character reveals and story reversals that make us reconsider everything we’ve just read . . . [The authors have] constructed a mirrored fun house, one that leads us down different paths, each masterfully tied up at the end, yet reflecting and refracting our own quirky selves. Recently, we’ve seen a spate of dazzling workplace novels featuring sharp-eyed, silver-tongued female millennials. With Severance, Temporary, The Other Black Girl and, now, The Very Nice Box (whose storage metaphors alone could have filled this review), traditional office fiction has been ripped from its white-collar, white-man origins and refashioned into language-twisting, genre-bending, electrifying art.” —Jillian Medoff, New York Times Book Review “A very funny debut — and perhaps the most original office satire of the year . . . There’s no way to put The Very Nice Box into, well, a box. It’s a parody that feels like an extended inside joke; it’s a thriller, a romance and a quirky coming-of-age saga. Gleichman and Blackett are trying to make a lot of points: about gender disparities in the workplace; about corporate responsibility; about gentrification. About insidious male toxicity and queer representation . . . The novel’s witticisms and smart takes help it shine, and its empathetic commentary on grief humanizes it. Ava has closed herself off for years, and watching her open back up is satisfying. Plus, who can resist a novel that takes down an entitled man-child in absurdly grand fashion? Very Nice, indeed.” —Angela Haupt, Washington Post “Rather than boxing in queerness, the authors suggest queerness as a lens for seeing, reading, and, arguably, for their own storytelling, which refuses trite or stereotypical generic moments. The story charms, it entices, and it keeps the reader in their hands, wanting more.” —Los Angeles Review of Books "If you are looking for something compelling, quirky, and different, this novel is your July pick . . . In a darkly funny, thought-provoking,and twisty novel, readers will be entertained and root for Ava, and for a life where grief and hope can coexist." —Shondaland, "The 5 Best Books of July" "The Very Nice Box is highly readable, full of twists and irony—inspiring deep belly-laughs with every sentence." —Vanessa Chan, BOMB "In this bitingly funny thriller, a heartbroken woman takes a chance on love and gets more than she bargained for . . . This debut novel by the writing duo Eve Gleichman and