All 46-year-old Norma Reyes wanted was to shatter the glass ceiling and become a well-paid professional. Despite being raised in a poor, Puerto Rican household (the eldest daughter of an unfeeling mother and a lecherous father), Norma manages to put herself through law school in middle-age, confident that once she earns her law degree, she'll land a job at a top-tier law firm and be able to support her elderly mother while subsidizing her welfare-collecting, drug abusing younger sister, 22-year-old autistic nephew, and 19-year-old niece (herself the single-mother of two young children).
But after successfully completing a summer clerkship at one of New York City’s most prestigious firms, Norma’s plans for career advancement are derailed by The Great Recession. Rather than receive the glamorous, $160,000-per-year associate position she expected from Robertson, Levine and Shemke, Norma is instead offered a consolation prize as a floating secretary when the firm imposes a hiring freeze on new attorneys.
Norma is grateful to have landed any job in such a brutal economy, but gets a bitter taste of just how thankless and demeaning it is to be a “floater”: She’s shuffled from desk to desk; ordered around like a trained seal; and forced not only to order lunch for stuck-up attorneys half her age, but serve it to them as well.
Norma’s luck seemingly changes for the better when she meets Oscar, the copy room supervisor. Despite her misgivings about this African American divorcé—his unremarkable job, ex-wife and teenage daughters, Norma finds herself instantly drawn to him. But no sooner do they declare their feelings for one another than Oscar hands Norma a “smoking gun”: An incriminating, tell-all memo, authored by managing partner Jonathan Shemke, admitting to age and national origin discrimination in the firm’s decision not to hire Norma as a junior attorney. Despite this latest setback, Norma must find the inner strength she needs to battle the firm for her rights, while her increasingly intimate connection to Oscar forces her to face invisible scars left behind from her own troubled childhood.
“The Floater is the Rocky of legal dramas. Attorney and protagonist Norma Reyes--hired as an overqualified secretarial floater and forced to battle long odds in a high powered law firm--is often beaten down but never knocked out. Gritty and necessarily graphic, The Floater is a well-written and spellbinding ride through Lilly Ledbetter-glass ceilings and racial barriers. Shocking, uplifting, and enlightening, The Floater is a dramatic tour de force." NY Times Bestselling author Ken Morris (author of Blind Allegiance to Sarah Palin, Man in the Middle, and Deadly Trade)