Thursday, September 15, 2022

Review: Please Join Us by Catherine McKenzie

Author: Catherine McKenzie
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication Date: August 2022

At thirty-nine, Nicole Mueller’s life is on the rocks. Her once brilliant law career is falling apart. She and her husband, Dan, are soon to be forced out of the apartment they love. After a warning from her firm’s senior partners, she receives an invitation from an exclusive women’s networking group,

Panthera Leo. Membership is anonymous, but every member is a successful professional. It sounds like the perfect solution to help Nicole revive her career. So, despite Dan’s concerns that the group might be a cult, Nicole signs up for their retreat in Colorado.

Once there, she meets the other women who will make up her Pride. A CEO, an actress, a finance whiz, a congresswoman: Nicole can’t believe her luck. The founders of Panthera Leo are equally as impressive. They explain the group’s core philosophy: they’re a girl’s club in a boy’s club world.

Nicole is all in. And when she gets home, she soon sees dividends. Her new network quickly provides her with clients that help her relaunch her career, and a great new apartment too. The favors she has to provide in return seem benign. But then she’s called to the congresswoman’s apartment late at night where she’s pressed into helping her cover up a crime. And suddenly, Dan’s concerns that something more sinister is at play seem all too relevant. Can Nicole extricate herself from the group before it’s too late? Or will joining Panthera Leo be the biggest mistake of her life?

Please Join Us had elements that reminded me of the NXIVM cult.  Panthera Leo is a lot like that inner circle within that cult, DOS.  The women form a group and they are all tasked to help each other at any time and with any request.  If they do so, great things will happen in their lives.  I wish I could say that I liked this book more than I did.

None of the characters are very likable.  Especially the main character.  Nicole was kind of whiny and boring.  Nothing is her fault.  I felt like she just had excuse after excuse.  She was also kind of elitist. I really couldn't relate to her.  She was looking for an easy way around life and then was surprised when everything falls apart.  I was surprised in the end, so it has that going for it.  But it was overall just a miss for me.  

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