Samantha is a high-flying career woman. She lives for her career in law, works until all hours and basically does not have a life outside of work. One day, however, she makes a mistake. It is a costly mistake in many ways – not only will it hugely affect the law firm, it also sends Samantha into a meltdown.
Suddenly, she finds herself on the run. She needs to get away. From her work, from her life, from everything. On top of all that, she has a headache. And she is lost, stuck in the middle of nowhere.
When she requests for directions at a big mansion, she is mistaken for the next interviewee for a housekeeping position. Before she knows it, she is offered the job. Her employers have no idea about who Samantha really is. They think she is the best catch ever, with extraordinary culinary skills. Samantha does not have a clue about how to work a washing machine, let alone how to cook anything more complicated than a sandwich.
Of course, this makes for an entertaining scenario. The reader gets to follow Samantha coming to terms with domestic life and tackling any and all obstacles before her. Throw in a handsome local male, his mother and an annoying law studying girl who gets to stay at the mansion, and you have here one of those reads which will make you wonder how she is going to solve the next challenge, giggling pleasantly along the way.
But will Samantha avoid her past for long? What will she do when she finds out the truth about the incident that changed her life so drastically? And will there be a happy ending?
It is true that "The Undomestic Goddess" is not a deep and meaningful read. It is not intended to be. It is the kind of book you take from the shelf when curling up in bed before sleep, to end the day with a smile on your face. Alternately, you could take it along with you to the beach, or read it on the train on your way to work. In the latter case, you might get some puzzled looks from other commuters when you get to the funny bits (which will be often).
Sophie Kinsella is one of those writers who are excellent at setting the pace and making you feel involved. Her characters are utterly believable. You end up feeling for them. You want them to do well and have that happy ending they so richly deserve.
Although this book is generally light-hearted, it does make one think about what is really important in life. Do we take enough time for ourselves, or do we let our practitioners take over? Are we doing what we really want, or did we just get stuck in the system, like so many others? These are interesting questions to ponder.
I would recommend this book to anyone who fancies a smooth, amusing, feel-good reading experience. The added touch of romance is a pleasant bonus.
According to the author's biography, Sophie Kinsella is a writer and former financial journalist. She is the author of the popular "Shopaholic" novels, as well as "Can You Keep a Secret?". Unlike her character in "The Undomestic Goddess", Sophie's housekeeping and cooking skills are legendary.
"The Undomestic Goddess" was published in 2005 by Transworld Publishers, a division of The Random House Group Ltd. The ISBN number is 0-593-05385-0.
By Kit Marsters
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