I Don't Know How She Does It, by Allison Pearson

Kate Reddy is some sort of high-flying city wizz, but has to juggle her demanding job with the needs of her family, and finds that it's not easy to keep everyone happy...

I think this is packaged to appeal to the Bridget Jones market, and there certainly seems to be a market for this sort of thing, given the number of copies it sold. There are parallels, e.g. with email romances, but where BJ's theme is "I really must get around to sorting my life out", this book is more keen on putting across the message that while a woman is perfectly capable of doing a job as well as, if not better than, her male peers, the responsibilities of motherhood take precedence.

I didn't enjoy this book as much as I'd expected to: I thought it would be a nice easy, funny read, but a couple of things jarred. Firstly, there was quite a lot of stuff about how useless her husband was at looking after the kids, and how she had to give him detailed instructions about what needed doing and what kind of sandwiches etc. they liked. But since she also spends quite a lot of time talking about how she never sees her kids because of working late/flying to New York, etc., it's not clear how she knew what they wanted anyway. Secondly, I didn't find her conversion to the joys of motherhood very convincing: it seemed implausible that she'd have got to this stage of her career before deciding to give it up, and it felt to me that this was done because having her carry on working would have been less palatable for the reader.

OK but can't really see what made it a bestseller.

Completed : 06-Jan-2004

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