|The Undomestic Goddess
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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?
From the Hardcover edition.
- LOVED IT!!!!!
This is one of favorite Sophie Kinsella books. I could really relate to Samantha and wish I could have just taken off to play the role of a housekeeper. Great book. I highly recommend to anyone looking for some fun, light hearted reading....more info
- Light read that doesn't quite live up to Kinsella's other works
I received this book along with Sophie Kinsella's other book Can You Keep a Secret for Christmas. I have previously enjoyed the Shopaholic series, as well as Remember Me? Ms Kinsella is a talented writer and always keeps her audience captivated with light hearted and far fetched tales. However, of the two I just received, I would highly recommend Can You Keep a Secret? over this one. This story was a lot more interesting than I was expecting from the book jacket, however the last 75 pages or so took a turn for the worst. Up to that point Samantha Sweeting was a likeable character despite running from her problems. Unfortunately, her actions, indecisivness and plain flakieness ruined her character, the ending left far too much open and gave no real conclusion for Samantha as well as the supporting characters who were quite likeable throughout the story....more info
- Fantastic author scores again.
I absolutely adore Sophie Kinsella and began reading her books just a few months ago. This book is simply fun and enjoyable to read. She creates female characters who are smart and determined- no weak minded women here!
I will continue to read this author over and over again. ...more info
- Light and fun - just uncomplicated enjoyment.
I bought this book at an airport while having massive delays and aggravation. After reading it for 15 minutes I was laughing and enjoying my time despite travel issues. Sophie is funny and light - nothing heavy and political. I am reading her 4th book now - she's great - keep them coming!!!...more info
Kinsella drops the ball on a novel that, in its last fifty pages, cannot sustain its own plot. With a promising premise and a quirky enough female protagonist, The Undomestic Goddess starts off as a vaguely amusing escapist adventure. Everything about the novel is average - the situations and humor are enough to keep a reader interested but unhappy at the conclusion. The sentiments are transparent and treacly, and the funny situations don't quite hit their mark. Kinsella's work is usually hilarious, but the book is soon lost to plot twists that become overwhelming, as they all occur in the final act. The awkward moments that are supposed to carry the novel are unnervingly contrived and absolutely unimaginable. A suspension of disbelief is unbelievably hard to procure. The romance is sweet and comfortingly moves along to its obvious finale. The entire text is a piece of cheap chocolate: soothing yet bland, fun while it lasts, but in the end, doesn't keep you satisfied. ...more info
- Must Read!!!
This was the first book I read by Sophie Kinsella - and I have already ordered more. I actually laughed outloud throughout and could not stop turning pages. Absolutely loved it!!! The perfect mix of romtantic comedy - believable or not, it was definitely enjoyable! Fantastically funny and FUN!!! Even if you do not like reading - please read this book!...more info
- Favorite Kinsella Book!
I'm shocked this book got so many 1, 2 and 3 star reviews!! Of all Kinsella books this is my most favorite! I LOVE the romance between the main character and her new man. Made my heart melt. A page turner from start to finish..I read it all in 1 day - read this book, you will love it!...more info
- Not the best Kinsella book
This book is about Samantha. She is a lawyer and a total workaholic. She has no private life, no weekends, and her family are all workaholics too. The day she gets promoted to be a partner for her law firm she realizes that she made a stupid mistake in one of her contracts that costs her firm 50 million pounds. She totally freaks out and runs away. Because of a stupid missunderstanding she ends up working as housekeeper for a new-money family. She has no idea what she is doing because she has never ever cooked before or has done any other housework. It is a complete disaster but the gardner, Nathaniel, is the only one that sees that she is a fake. He helps her out and she starts to loosen up and starts to realize that there are other things in live than work.
The book was ok. It was very well written but it was also full of cliches. The story was pretty predictable and the ending a little too cheazy for my taste. It was totally ok if you want to read something lite ...more info
- laugh out loud funny- i can relate!
My friend recommended this book to me - as I am rather undomestic myself, and she thought of me in a few scenes in the book. I felt for Samantha- the panic she had when she made a mistake, her need to flee, her desire for both achieving success but later to stop and enjoy the little things in life. A very fun read that had me laughing out loud and looking forward to reading......more info
- (4.5 stars) A book about finding a life you can live with even if it doesn't fit with all your lifelong plans
When this book was published I avoided it. It's a bad habit of mine-I assume that any great character in a first person book will just be recycled if the author writes another first person novel. So after Shopaholic I just thought that if I read "The undomestic Goddess" I would be reading the thoughts of a diluted or slightly warped version of Becky Bloomwood from the Shopaholic series.
I was wrong. Very wrong. My sincere apologies to Sophie Kinsella for doubting her talents.
Samantha Sweeting is a high powered corporate lawyer about to make partner. She should be on top of the world but instead her nearly 100 hour work week, equally driven (some would say obsessed) family and absolutely no social life is dragging her down. So when the blessed announcement arrives that she has her dream job and moments later Sam finds out she has made a major mistake that could cost a client millions she panics. And ends up in a house in the country applying for a job as a housekeeper.
But Sam can't cook. Sam can't clean-and Sam has nowhere else to go.
Thankfully the handsome gardener, his lovely mother help her learn to be a true domestic goddess and her clueless but well meaning employers give her the praise she's been craving her whole life. But is this life, stumbled into my mistake and based on numerous lies, truly what she wants or does she crave a return to her old ways?
This is a great story about finding your true self, figuring out what you want (or at least what you need) to have a life you can not only live but you can enjoy. It's a great reminder that everyone should take a step back once in a while and make sure that what they want, what they're trying to get, is still really the thing they want. That they need, crave. I didn't like it quite as much as Shopaholic but it'll be getting a permanent place on my chick-lit bookshelf for sure.
Four point five stars.
- Slightly disappointed
This is my least favorite of all of Sophie Kinsella's books. It is VERY predictable, and as other reviewers have noted, leaves a lot of loose ends, like what happened to the Geigers? The author made it sound like there was something going on with them earlier, but that just dissolves.
Also, this is the first male love interest out of all of Kinsella's books that I couldn't stand! I was surprised. I couldn't even picture what he looked like in my head, and actually didn't want them to end up together.
It was also lacking in humor. I'd recommend it if you're a big fan of Kinsella's, but if not, don't bother picking it up. ...more info
- Perfect Beach Read
I'm fussy, but love funny books. Sophie is spot on with this laugh out loud book. People at the beach must have thought I was insane, but it was very funny! Loved it! Nothing life changing, just sweet entertainment. Well done Sophie!...more info
- Audio 5cd abrid. Fun fluffy chick lit book
Samantha is a high powered lawyer who is happily working her way up towards a partnership then everything goes wrong at work and she runs off to the country. She is mistaken for someone applying for a live-in housekeepers job. Samantha needs somewhere to stay and maybe she could hid here for a while. Housework she hates and is not good at.
A funny, romantic, light story. A solicitor client of mine said she had already read it, loved it and loved all of the Sophie Kinsella series.
So even solicitors appreciate this story.
A light sunday afternoon read at the beach or infront of the log fire.
- I WANT TO SEE THIS AS A MOVIE!!!
Excellent light read. Couldn't put it down...more than a 'beach book'...less than a romance novel. It's real people. I love the way Kinsella writes. Samantha's thought process when her life is falling apart is so realistic. I found myself thinking for Sam...only to read down the page and have those exact words fall out of her mouth! Great read....more info
- Too predictable
The Undomestic Goddess was a fun, light read but it was too predictable. If you want to be entertained for a few hours of fun, enjoyable reading, then this is it. You'll know by page 20 exactly what is going to happen to Samantha and who she will spend the rest of her life with. If you are looking for something a little more intriguing that will keep you guessing, then look elsewhere.
Linda C. Wright
AuthorOne Clown Short One Clown Short...more info
- Sophie Kinsella Fans read on!!
As always, Sophie Kinsella delivers! I love her work! Of course, Becky Bloomwood is my FAVORITE character. However, this story is a close second!...more info
- From Money Maker to Not
This was my first read of Sophie Kinsella got to say that I loved this read. And made me laugh as well. I enjoyed reading about this woman who makes all this money then all of a sudden makes very less. Yet she finds solace in what she is now doing.
She finally see's that what she was doing before was basically killing her, she was becoming someone she did not want to become. But becoming a housekeeper changed all that. She seen that there was more to life then this old job she had. And plus she finally found love for good....more info
- Silly!! Not typical of her great reads.
What a silly book! I love Kinsella's other books, particularly the Shopaholic series, but geez...the situations in this book are laughable (and not because they're funny). Although I made it through the book, it was not a pageturner and I was not drawn in by the characters or situations. Even if you're a fan of Sophie's like I am, skip this one....more info
- light, fluffy and fun read
This book was just the right book to pass the time and relax. Very funny and entertaining. Couldnt put it down without finishing it. It was an easy read and i recommend it as a beach book. ...more info
- Not my favorite but it is still good :)
Reading Sophie Kinsella book is always a pleasure. I've always love Sophie Kinsella's style of writing and her sense of humor. And so, I am quite pleased with The undomestic Goddess, despite its limitations as mentioned by other reviewers here and yes, I do agree with many of the reviewers her. I thought the protagonist of the book, Samantha, is not that far from the characters in her other hits like Shopaholic and Can You Keep a Secret. And I think, it is the familiarity of that lovable personality that somewhat draws me to the book. Although I was quite turned off by the idea that such intelligent character could be so clueless about houseworks, Kinsella balances that slightly out of this world features with some realisitic characteristics as well, thus making Samantha an endearing and sympathetic heroine. And as always, Kinsella is also not afraid to write some outrageous scenes as well. Although they are quite over the top, I have to say they are rather entertaining. Hey, it is after all a chick lit: it's light hearted, silly, funny in some parts and most importantly, it made you want to fall in love all over again. What more could you ask? :)...more info
- Very much enjoyed
I liked this book very much, but will not give it 5 stars because in my opinion it pales to Kinsellas wonderful Shopaholic books and the glorious Becky Bloomwood. I did think that this story was fun and cute and just what I was looking to read, once again Sophie Kinsella does not disappoint. I love her work....more info
- You'll enjoy every moment!
Sophie Kinsella sends us yet another winner with The Undomestic Goddess! Samantha is so funny as she leaves her perfect life behind and becomes a MAID! I laughed so hard I was in tears in several places as she tried to do things! Definately a wonderful read!...more info
- Great Book
Readers if you like Janet Evanovich Books, you will like this book. Sophie Kinsella is an English verison of Evanovich. It is funny, easy to read and very enjoyable. I would highly recommend it.Funn...more info
- My new fav Author!
This is my first Sophie Kinsella book and I must say I was very impressed. I sorta expected the same stiff, dry story plot that Jane Green has BUT, no I was wrong! I really liked that the character had downs and ups, and that she didn't get involved with Guy because he was no good for her. It's a very cute, romantic story. ...more info
- A Lovely Summer Read
This book was a lovely summer love story that, while predictable, still sweet. With hilarious comic relief and a steamy love making session, Sophie Kinsella has done it again....more info
- Chick Lit vs. Wit Lit: The Road to Literary Revolution
From my latest Aberration Nation [...] blog post:
Last week I had the opportunity to take a 12-hour road trip across Texas with my 66-year-old mother. She talked a lot about the way things used to be when she was growing up in the 1950s. She enjoyed going on about how everyone was so much more polite, well-groomed, and decent. I was surprised to hear that my grandmother required my mom and her siblings to make their beds when they stayed in hotels.
My mother graduated from high school in 1960. Richard Yates' Revolutionary Road was published in 1961. Ironically, I was getting this earful about life in the '50s just as I was finishing Yates' novel. Flying back to Philly from Dallas, I thought about the perfect picture of domestication my mother grew up with, and how she still wishes life could be that way. Truth be told, she wishes I could be that way. (Confession: I rarely make the beds in my own home much less hotels.) I also considered what I'd like to say about Revolutionary Road.
Another detail swirling in my head was the fact that I finally read a novel officially categorized as Chick Lit just prior to reading Revolutionary Road. It was Sophie Kinsella's The Undomestic Goddess. One word to describe my reaction: disappointed. Of course, lots of folks buy Kinsella's novels, and I admit that her work, along with the rest of successful Chick Lit, has its place on the shelf, and probably on sandy beaches everywhere. But I take the word literature seriously ... maybe too seriously.
Before my first Chick Lit experience, I assumed these books were for hip, intelligent women who love literature. Isn't literature supposed to mean something more than hot embraces, palatial homes, awesome shoes, and perfect endings filled with train station embraces? If not, than I was an official chick at eleven. That was the fateful year I discovered the thrill of the harlequin romance. My love lasted about four months--the amount of time it took me to figure out the formula and lose interest.
Now that I'm a woman who can bring home some sort of bacon, I want what I've decided to call, Wit Lit. And yes, Wit Lit can appeal to men as well because although we're apparently from different planets, we share good ole' human nature in all its simple and fascinating complexity--the very element Yates tapped into when he wrote Revolutionary Road in 1961. Yates' novel qualifies as Wit Lit because it's 20-21th century literature that brilliantly provokes relevant, close-to-home thought in the reader. The fact that it was written in 1961 is significant in that the particular questions Yates poses were unexpected and bold within the context of my mother's graduating class. These American kids were poised to waltz out into the world and set up houses with nice white picket fences, swing sets, and husbands who wore suits to work while the girls stayed home and baked to ensure the home smelled yummy for hubby's return. Yates gave them something to think about, and he gives us something to think about today. Thus another criterion for Wit Lit: timeless.
In Revolutionary Road, Yates masterfully uses the one certifiably crazy character, John Givings, to deliver truth to a bunch of neighborhood chicks and dudes who, despite their wonderful, intelligent qualities, find themselves caught in the cultural quagmire of the 1950's my mother so misses. This crazy guy, John, seems to have much to give, however lacking the acceptable 1950's social skills, he's been wheeled out of town to an institution. His parents define him as unstable and ill, yet Yates never provides facts to support why he's been classified this way. John actually seems to know what he's talking about in a room full of people struggling to put up all the kinds of fronts that maintain the perfect picture John has escaped.
The Wheelers and main characters, Frank and April, have much to offer to each other, their children, and themselves, but they can't seem to pull past bitter disappointment as they fail to physically escape the Norman Rockwell life they've been pressured to emulate. Yates brilliantly casts an inner pallor over the white picket fences, swing sets, yummy smells, and pressed suits of that stifling world. Frank and April aptly recognize that pallor yet fail to grasp the magnitude of choices within their reach. Frank describes the culture he longs to escape like this:
"Christ's sake, when it comes to any kind of a showdown we're still in the Middle Ages. It's as if everyone'd made this tacit agreement to live in a state of total self-deception. The hell with reality! Let's have a whole bunch of cute little winding and cute little houses painted white and pink and baby blue; let's all be good consumers and have a lot of Togetherness and bring our children up in a bath of sentimentality--Daddy's a great man because he makes a living, Mummy's a great woman because she's stuck by Daddy all these years--and if old reality ever does pop out and say Boo we'll all get busy and pretend it never happened."
However, reality is all around Frank. He falls prey to the sad unreality he longs to escape through his inability to honestly express himself in nearly all his relationships.
He describes his work like this: "I mean the great advantage of a place like Knox is that you can sort of turn off your mind every morning at nine and leave it off all day, and nobody knows the difference," yet he misses opportunities to tap into his intellect at Knox because he's blinded by his own ideas of escape.
The fate of those on Yates' Revolutionary Road shows that revolution comes from within. It doesn't matter what town, road, or home you live in. Yates deftly relays how revolutionary moments, decisions, and actions can be missed if we fail to look inward rather than outward. Interestingly, another character, the Wheeler's neighbor, Shep Campbell, grew up in the sort of high-brow intellectual, arty world to which the Wheelers long to escape. Ironically, Shep spent his younger adult years desperate to break out of that particular mold by settling himself into the cookie cutter world of Revolutionary Road. He comes to realize that he doesn't want to live on the street either--thus we see another character searching outward rather than inward.
In one cool Chick versus Wit moment of the novel, John Givings says to Frank, "I like your girl, Wheeler ... I get the feeling she's female. You know what the difference between female and feminine is? Huh? Well, here's a hint: a feminine woman never laughs out loud and always shaves her armpits. Old Helen (his mom) is feminine as hell. I've only met about half a dozen females in my life, and I think you got one of them here. Course, come to think of it, that figures. I get the feeling you're male. There aren't too many males around, either."
If she existed in 2009, John Giving's mom, Helen, would probably enjoy Sophie Kinsella's work. If, like Helen, you prefer to escape the real world, whether through the purchase of a nice white fence, a corporate job that keeps you too busy to feel, or religious services that don't require real contemplation, stick to reading Chick Lit. In The Undomestic Goddess, Kinsella's characters always say exactly what they're thinking and feeling. Her conflicts are vastly situational rather than internal. The characters may have been quite comfortable on Revolutionary Road back in the `50s. I suspect Kinsella could have nicely resolved Frank and April's issues with a lot of superb communication, and a nice summer trip to the EU. We'd all be smiling with stars in our eyes but somehow less enlightened about the true nature of humanity.
So, if you prefer to open an eye or two to the complexity, inconsistency, creativity, and hidden beauty of reality, pick up Revolutionary Road, and hope that today's emerging writers can perpetuate truth the way Yates did in 1961. Demand more Wit Lit! Walk past the chicks and dudes, and take the train toward being real females and males who search inward for answers rather than grasping at all the turn of the century machinations our society imposes. There are still a heck of a lot of streets like Revolutionary Road in our towns and cities. Just because we may live there, doesn't mean we're trapped....more info
- All Hard Woman Should Read
I wouldn't of believed it if didn't know a woman attorney who is just like this. She actually got so stressed out once that she when to Aruba and bought a house. Now that's running away from the noise and confussion. However, this book rings true for all women who fall pray to having to work twice as hard as any man to prove themselves. I myself am a CPA and it happens to me all the time. This is such a light hearted book dealing with the trials and tribulations of trying to have a career and a life. I LOVED THIS BOOK and I KEEP IT IN MY LIBRARY TO READ FOR A GREAT LAUGH OVER AND OVER AGAIN. I hope you love it as much as I do. I recommend it to every women who need a good laugh and to regain their sense of humor again. I believe men whould even benefit from this great humor and wit....more info