Monday, October 12, 2009

"The Undomestic Goddess" by Sophie Kinsella

"Workaholic attorney Samantha Sweeting has just done the unthinkable. She's made a mistake so huge, it'll wreck any chance of a partnership. Going into utter meltdown, she walks out of her London office, gets on a train, and ends up in the middle of nowhere. Asking for directions at a big, beautiful house, she's mistaken for an interviewee and finds herself being offered a job as housekeeper. Her employers have no idea they've hired a lawyer - and Samantha has no idea how to work the oven. She can't sew on a button, bake a potato, or get the #@ &# ironing board to open. How she takes a deep breath and begins to cope - and finds love - is a story as delicious as the bread she learns to bake. But will her old life ever catch up with her? And if it does...will she want it back?"

I've read a few of Kinsella's books, two of the Shopaholic series, and two of the stand-alones. I like her well enough, and had a weekend where I just needed some "light" reading - nothing supernatural, nothing too deep. Fluff, if you must call it that. Anyway, this book had been lingering in my TBR pile for a while, and seemed to be the perfect thing for such a mood.

It's a cute book. Believable? Not hardly! Samantha is a likable character, though, and I really felt for her. I thought some of the other characters could have used a bit more work, though, especially Trish and Eddie Geiger, the couple who hire her. They are what we'd term nouveau riche, having sold their garbage business a few years back. However, it's clear that they don't really know what to do with all that money, especially Trish. I found myself wanting her to start a business or do something to give herself the feeling of self-worth she had when she was just a working stiff. Also, Samantha's mother was a bit too flat, the stereotypical "strong business woman" who has "sacrificed" everything for her career and doesn't want to be embarasses by her children. Sigh.

But it was a story that I found myself relating to (no, I didn't lose a company millions of dollars!) Once upon a time, the Bookbabe was a cubicle rat, and worked in an office doing data entry and customer service. She thought it was a "real" job, and earned a pretty good paycheck. But she was miserable. In the end, she had begun working at a used book store part time, and she discovered her "real" job - working around books and the people who love to read them. She, too, had to overcome her worries about money and status, but in the end, it was all totally worth it. And I think that's why I liked Samantha's story so much - it really resonated with me. Sometimes you have to throw aside society's (and family's) expectations for your life and take control yourself. And you have to be brave enough to do what you want, trusting that the money and all that will work out for the best.

Got a spare weekend coming up? Need some inspiration if you're thinking about making that major life change? Pick up "The Undomestic Goddess", a good cuppa tea, and enjoy.

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