Attorney and Author Puts a Different Spin on the Legal Fictional Novel
Style News Wire | 10/2/2012, 7 p.m.
by Dawn Paul
The Floater is a provocative legal fictional novel by attorney Sheryl Sorrentino that details a law school graduate’s (Norma Reyes) experience with discrimination at the hands of her remorseless employers at a top law firm. Norma is a middle-aged Latina who takes a job as a “floater” (rotating secretary) to make ends meet in a tough economy while awaiting the results of her bar exam. The discrimination Norma endures just adds to her already tumultuous life. Sorrentino introduces a number of fascinating characters that contribute (good and bad) to Norma’s journey and allows the reader to take that journey along with her. Sorrentino does introduce a love interest, but The Floater does not relay the message that love will heal all wounds and allow that picture perfect life that one may dream about. The Floater is a realistic and gritty read that is not your standard legal fictional novel.
Sorrentino is a practicing attorney who is also a successful author who believes that people can do more than one thing well. She says, “People just don’t have to be good in their profession, but they can excel outside of their professional as well.” Sorrentino proves her point with this latest novel.
Sorrentino has a gift for pulling the reader in so that there is a genuine emotional connection with these fictional characters. Though The Floater is fiction, this book reveals how true success is about personal fulfillment and how there can be growth in the midst of difficult circumstances.
So, would you like to know if Norma passes her bar exam and if she gains the courage to fight her firm against discrimination? Well, you will just have to read the book to find out.
Sheryl Sorrentino is the author of two previous indie titles: Later with Myself: The Misadventures of Millie Moskowitz, and An Unexpected Exile. For more information about Sorrentino and her books please visit http://www.sherylsorrentino.com.
Sheryl was kind enough to speak with Houston Style Magazine about her latest novel.I practice transactional real estate and business law. It hit me out of the blue. I learned of a family secret after my father’s death and that secret greatly impacted my life. I needed a way to process it. That experience got me on this path to writing. The book cover was my idea. There were some challenges though. I like the cover being provocative because the book is racy in a few places. I did not want to put the scales of justice on the cover or something usually standard with legal fictional novels. I wanted a cover that was eye catching.No. I wanted to underscore what this recession is doing. She had to also be a minority for that reason. I wanted her to be in all these boxes that may give her disadvantages in this type of setting. Her education (fourth-tier law school) is also a key part of the story. Great candidates sometimes don’t get a shot because of the requisites of these law firms. She did not start out with advantages. She has barriers. Yes, when I was in law school I was working as a legal secretary and some of my duties included ordering lunch. I remember being scolded because I did not open the bag and give the lawyers their sandwiches. I was told they were too busy to get their own sandwiches out of a bag. Absolutely. We have to come to terms with our past. For many people we don’t have the time to take a breath and look at how we got to where we are. So true, especially in our culture. When we meet someone we ask, “What do you do?” Depending on what you do for a living you are judged. We as humans are so far beyond what we do in our nine to five jobs. No. I’m saying that the love of someone supportive who believes in you and points out your flaws that are holding you back can make you better. That someone supportive could be a friend or a parent. In this case it was Oscar. She also prompted him to take action in his own life. Absolutely. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. You have to stick your neck out there. Eventually something will happen. You have to start taking risks. Plan your strategy and start making moves.
10. You say that one of your goals as an author is to evoke intense reactions in readers. Is that one of the ways you judge your work?
Yes, but also is the story moving and compelling? If people have a strong negative reaction, that’s not necessarily a bad review, but that means the author hit the target. Effective writing takes a certain skill, a certain cadence and evokes mood.