The Undomestic Goddess
Samantha Sweeting is one of the best lawyers in London. She is about (probably) to become the youngest partner the prestigous firm Carter Spink has ever had. But during the partnership meeting she finds a paper on her messy desk that hadn't been filed in time. She has just made a ₤50 million mistake that will be a disaster for Carter Spink and their client. Samantha walks out of the office in shock and climbs on a train without thinking about anything.
By the time she starts to come back to her senses, she gets off the train in the Cotswalds and starts walking. When she is thirsty, she realizes she needs some water. Samantha knocks on the next door she comes to. Trisha Geiger invites her in and gives her water. Then she starts interviewing Samantha. The next thing she knows, Samantha has a new job - as the housekeeper for the Geigers. There's one small - OK, large - problem. Samantha doesn't know how to sew on a button, turn on the oven, hoover (vacuum to us Americans), clean windows, or even make a bed. Her life has been focused on being the best lawyer in the business since she was 13. Now, at 29, she discovers how much she doesn't know.
The next morning Samantha knows shes in trouble, but she's sure she can fake it for a day. Samantha Sweeting is about to find out that taking care of a house and family is not as easy as it looks. She thought she had it bad in some of her business meetings? That's nothing compared to trying to get the sheet corners to fold around the end of the bed properly. Then there is Nathaniel, the gardner...
This is a marvelously fun bit of froth. Sophie Kinsella is good at this Bridget Jones type of English story. The Undomestic Goddess will make anyone who had learned even the basics of taking care of a home laugh out loud. Samantha has to learn how to expand her thinking beyond a 6 minute (billing) window. We, as readers, get to enjoy her discovery.
Despite the preposterous premise, Kinsella makes the novel work. Samantha is a believably character, especially as she begins to learn - and at times rebels against learning. She not only has to learn how to take care of a house and family, she has to learn to relax. Most of all, she has to learn who she is and what she wants for her life.
I know that sequels are de rigeur these days with popular novels. I really hope there isn't one to this. It ends perfectly for the way Kinsella has told Samantha's story.
Notice: Suggestive dialogue or situations
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