Work and love.

Love. Local. Latebreaking. is a book 30 years in the making—and the three years I spent writing it often felt that long, too.

I’ve lived a life defined by strong women—my constantly driven wife, Liz, and my Ph.D. mother in particular, not to mention entire newsrooms and courtrooms filled with other amazingly gifted and powerful women.

Being practiced at taking direction from them, when Karli strode onto the page, I understood exactly what she needed me to do. Her passion for professional excellence was at the center of her identity, and she wouldn’t accept any situation that didn’t give her the freedom to reach her full potential.

Then there’s that other passion, the pesky one called love. She needed some, though she didn’t start out ready to acknowledge it.

This book has no billionaire recruiting his hapless assistant to accompany him to a wedding, no rich young widower in need of a nanny for his adorable but neglected children, no kilted Scotsman in need of a bride to carry on the clan’s name.

Instead, it’s about actual love, the kind that sneaks up on us when we’re trying to grind through each day and do something we can be proud of.

In real life as in the book, questions of work and love are often in tension. Making a life where they can be complementary is both difficult and important. Karli and Jake navigate some of the emotional and practical thickets that obstruct that goal.

As much as work can define modern women—especially Liz and Karli—everyone has to come home at the end of the day. Any home worth the name is built of love. Without that, we all find an emptiness that draws the meaning out of work. Love fills that emptiness with energy, with calm, with focus.

Love is about sparks, too, of course. Driven women and the men who challenge and complement their work spark like Roman candles when their passion is lit.

Although Liz and I met in a newsroom long ago, Karli and Jake’s story is definitely not our story. Yet their friction is commonplace among collaborators, and their romance shares the kinds of difficulties high achievers so often struggle through.

The beta readers who helped me through this book were generous with their time and wonderful insights. Brinlee Kramer, Kathy Reumann, Jeanne Jacobs, Sara Clark, and many others offered tremendously helpful advice, and the book would not be the same without them. I am grateful for and humbled by their kindness and generosity.

There are aggravating layout issues with the paperback version, and I am working on them. I will post an update here once I’ve solved them.

Thank you so much for reading and feel free to reach out. I’ll do my best to respond personally.

H. Laurence Lareau

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.