Allison Pearson - I Don't Know How She Does It: The Life of Kate Reddy, Working Mother

4 ratings (4 Epinions reviews)
Epinions Product Rating: Excellent
5 stars
2
4 stars
1
3 stars
1
2 stars
1 star
Share This!
  Ask friends for feedback

I Don't Know How She Does It: Who Does?

May 29, 2004
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:easy to relate to, realistic problems

Cons:ending ties things up TOO neatly

The Bottom Line: A nice slice of a working mom's life.


On bedrest during my most difficult (and final!) pregnancy last summer, a group of my girlfriends got together and sent me a care package of books, magazines, and activities for my two toddlers. One of the books was I Don't Know How She Does It: The Life of Kate Reddy, Working Mother.

~&~ The Plot ~&~

Kate Reddy is a fund manager in London, and she is also the mother of two children. Her career is important, as she is one of the very few female fund managers, but she also wants to be the perfect mother.

The book opens with Kate returning from a trip overseas, only to "fake" homemade baked goods by swatting them with a rolling pin. Unable to let go of the "perfect" mother mentality, she tries to deal with the constant travel and crazy hours of her job while doing all the things she feels a mother should be doing, constantly feeling like she is failing at both.

Her husband, Richard, is an architect, and Kate feels that he isn't as ambitious as he could be. Many of the day-to-day family tasks fall to him, as well as to their nanny, who Kate alternately bribes and loathes. As if Kate's career vs. family battle wasn't enough stress, she also has a wastrel father who drinks too much and is always hitting her up for money for his latest scheme; an assistant who is after her job; a protege she is trying to relieve of her naivete; an arch-nemesis at work who is boorish and incompetent; and an American client that she just might be falling in love with.

As the story progresses, the stressors in Kate's life get worse and worse until things finally come to a head with everything, and Kate must make some decisions about her family, her marriage, and her career.

~&~ My Perspective ~&~

Believe it or not, before I quit working to stay home with my first child, I ate, breathe, and slept work. I thought nothing of working 80 hour weeks, or going into the office for full eight-hour days on the weekends. My feeble attempt to go back to work part-time after having my daughter gave me enough of a feeling of being the middle of a tug-of-war rope that I couldn't stand it, and I've always been amazed at moms who are able to keep it all together while working full-time and having a family.

Kate's job in I Don't Know How She Does It is extreme, and yet I know that there are a lot of mothers (and fathers) out there who have just such a job, always feeling pulled in more than one direction, and never feeling like you are giving 100% to either side. Her feelings for her client are totally believable, as she doesn't ever feel like she belongs anywhere in her life, and he offers her a convenient escape from reality.

Allison Pearson's writing style is very easy to read, making I Don't Know How She Does It a fast read, and probably a great beach book. It isn't Shakespeare, but has substance. Especially entertaining are Kate's email exchanges with two of her girlfriends, as well as with the American client.

~&~ What I Didn't Like ~&~

Nothing ruins a good book for me like a pat ending, and unfortunately, Allison Pearson ties up all her plots and subplots with a neat Hallmark bow. Even being a domestic goddess for four years now, I was still drawn into Kate's struggles, and found myself relating to her as a character. The ending of the book felt disjointed and out of place, with things tied up much more neatly than real-life. I Don't Know How She Does It was such a great example of how real parents are torn that the ending seemed traitorous.

~&~ Overall ~&~

I think that moms everywhere, both working moms and stay-at-home moms, can find something to relate to in Kate Reddy, and I Don't Know How She Does It is a great summer read.


Recommend this product? Yes

Read all comments (4)

Share this product review with your friends   
Share This!


Related Deals You Might Like...

Don't Kiss Them Good-bye By Allison Dubois, Audiobook, Unabridged Cds

Don't Kiss Them Good-bye By Allison Dubois, Audiobook, Unabridged Cds

Don't Kiss Them Good-Bye by Allison DuBois Read by the author Simon Schuster Audio 5 CDs 5 Hours Description: Unabridged audiobook on CDs published by...
eBay

$16.00

+$3.87 shipping
The Allison Miller Handbook - Everything you need to know about Allison Miller eBook

The Allison Miller Handbook - Everything you need to know about Allison Miller eBook

Buy The Allison Miller Handbook - Everything you need to know about Allison Miller by Smith, Emily and Read this Book on Kobo's Free Apps. Discover K...
Kobo eBooks

$13.59

FREE Shipping
The Allison Williams Handbook - Everything you need to know about Allison Williams eBook

The Allison Williams Handbook - Everything you need to know about Allison Williams eBook

Buy The Allison Williams Handbook - Everything you need to know about Allison Williams by Smith, Emily and Read this Book on Kobo's Free Apps. Discov...
Kobo eBooks

$13.59

FREE Shipping
Allison Hewitt Is Trapped

Allison Hewitt Is Trapped

From the New York Times bestselling author of ASYLUM comes one woman's story as she blogs - and fights back - the zombie apocalypse Allison Hewitt and...
Walmart.com

$8.69

+$4.97 shipping
The Allison Mack Handbook - Everything you need to know about Allison Mack eBook

The Allison Mack Handbook - Everything you need to know about Allison Mack eBook

Buy The Allison Mack Handbook - Everything you need to know about Allison Mack by Smith, Emily and Read this Book on Kobo's Free Apps. Discover Kobo'...
Kobo eBooks

$13.59

FREE Shipping
Allison Scagliotti 31 Success Facts - Everything you need to know about Allison ... eBook

Allison Scagliotti 31 Success Facts - Everything you need to know about Allison ... eBook

Buy Allison Scagliotti 31 Success Facts - Everything you need to know about Allison Scagliotti by Nicole Le and Read this Book on Kobo's Free Apps. D...
Kobo eBooks

$24.99

FREE Shipping
City of Spades (Allison _ Busby Classics)

City of Spades (Allison _ Busby Classics)

City of Spades (Allison _ Busby Classics)
Sears
You Know You Are Middle Aged When...- 2010 Hardcover By Allison Vale

You Know You Are Middle Aged When...- 2010 Hardcover By Allison Vale

div style=text-align:centerimg src=http://ti2.auctiva.com/sw/java.gif border=0br table align=centertr td a style=text-decoration:none href=http://stor...
eBay

$13.24

FREE Shipping
The Allison Janney Handbook - Everything you need to know about Allison Janney eBook

The Allison Janney Handbook - Everything you need to know about Allison Janney eBook

Buy The Allison Janney Handbook - Everything you need to know about Allison Janney by Smith, Emily and Read this Book on Kobo's Free Apps. Discover K...
Kobo eBooks

$19.99

FREE Shipping
Amped Optics Pearson in Fire

Amped Optics Pearson in Fire

Amped Optics Pearson in Fire. Pearson Series in black with fire revo acrylic lens and 100% plastic frame Comes with a printed soft pouch and box for s...
Karmaloop

$39.99

+$6.00 shipping