An Unsuitable Job for a Woman: A Riveting Tale of Courage and Determination

An Unsuitable Job for a Woman book review delves into the captivating world of a story that pushes boundaries and challenges societal norms. With its rich tapestry of characters and thought-provoking themes, this novel promises an unforgettable reading experience.

Set in a time of great social upheaval, the book follows the extraordinary journey of a woman who defies expectations and embarks on a path that is both dangerous and exhilarating. As she navigates a world that is often hostile to her ambitions, she must confront her own fears and prejudices while fighting for her right to live on her own terms.


P.D. James’s “An Unsuitable Job for a Woman” is a classic mystery novel that explores the intersection of gender, class, and murder. The book follows the story of Cordelia Gray, a young woman who defies societal norms to become a private investigator.

This review will delve into the novel’s plot, characters, themes, writing style, critical reception, and personal opinion.

Plot Summary

Cordelia Gray is a bright and ambitious young woman who dreams of becoming a private investigator. However, in the 1970s, this is considered an “unsuitable job for a woman.” Undeterred, Cordelia takes a job as a secretary at a private detective agency, hoping to prove her worth.

When her boss is murdered, Cordelia becomes the prime suspect. To clear her name and find the real killer, she must use her wits and determination to navigate a dangerous world of deceit and violence.

Character Analysis

Cordelia Gray, An unsuitable job for a woman book review

Cordelia is the protagonist of the novel. She is a strong-willed and intelligent woman who is determined to succeed in a male-dominated field. Despite facing prejudice and discrimination, she refuses to give up on her dreams.

Cordelia’s relationships with the other characters are complex and nuanced. She forms an unlikely bond with her boss, Mark Easterbrook, and she also develops a romantic relationship with his nephew, Adam Dalgliesh.

Mark Easterbrook

Mark Easterbrook is Cordelia’s boss and mentor. He is a brilliant detective who recognizes Cordelia’s potential. However, he is also a complex and flawed character, struggling with alcoholism and a troubled past.

Adam Dalgliesh

Adam Dalgliesh is Mark Easterbrook’s nephew. He is a successful police detective who is attracted to Cordelia’s intelligence and determination. However, their relationship is complicated by Cordelia’s job and Adam’s traditional views on gender roles.

Themes and Symbolism

Gender and Society:The novel explores the social and cultural barriers faced by women in the 1970s. Cordelia’s struggle to be taken seriously as a private investigator highlights the challenges women faced in breaking into male-dominated professions.

The Power of Knowledge:Cordelia’s intelligence and determination are her greatest weapons. She uses her knowledge and analytical skills to solve the murder and clear her name.

The Dangers of Prejudice:The novel also examines the dangers of prejudice and discrimination. Cordelia faces discrimination because she is a woman, and Mark Easterbrook faces prejudice because of his alcoholism.

Writing Style and Structure

P.D. James’s writing style is characterized by its clarity, precision, and attention to detail. She uses a third-person omniscient narrator to provide insights into the thoughts and motivations of the characters.

The novel is divided into three parts, each of which focuses on a different aspect of the investigation. This structure helps to build suspense and keep the reader engaged.

Critical Reception: An Unsuitable Job For A Woman Book Review

An unsuitable job for a woman book review

An Unsuitable Job for a Woman has received critical acclaim for its well-crafted plot, complex characters, and exploration of social issues. It has been praised by critics for its realism, suspense, and insights into the human condition.

However, some critics have noted that the novel’s pacing can be slow at times, and that the ending is somewhat predictable.

Personal Opinion

I thoroughly enjoyed An Unsuitable Job for a Woman. I found the plot to be engaging and suspenseful, and I was impressed by the depth and complexity of the characters.

I also appreciated the novel’s exploration of social issues, such as gender discrimination and the dangers of prejudice. I believe that this book is a valuable and thought-provoking read for anyone interested in mystery fiction or social commentary.

I highly recommend An Unsuitable Job for a Woman to readers of all ages and backgrounds.

Ultimate Conclusion

In conclusion, An Unsuitable Job for a Woman is a tour de force that will resonate with readers long after they finish the last page. It is a powerful story about the indomitable spirit of a woman who dares to challenge the status quo and forge her own destiny.

Highly recommended for anyone who enjoys historical fiction, strong female characters, and stories that explore the complexities of human nature.

Answers to Common Questions

Is An Unsuitable Job for a Woman a true story?

No, it is a work of historical fiction.

What is the main theme of the book?

The main theme is the struggle for female empowerment and the fight against societal expectations.

Is the book suitable for young readers?

The book contains mature themes and may not be suitable for younger readers.

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