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The Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella
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The Undomestic Goddess (original 2005; edition 2007)

by Sophie Kinsella

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5,280154836 (3.67)86
Member:Yells
Title:The Undomestic Goddess
Authors:Sophie Kinsella
Info:Dell (2007), Mass Market Paperback, 432 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Rating:***
Tags:READ >2011

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The Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella (2005)

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English (146)  Dutch (3)  German (2)  Swedish (1)  Italian (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (154)
Showing 1-5 of 146 (next | show all)
It’s not as if there is anything unpredictable in Kinsella’s books, but they are nevertheless full of humor and charm, and worth reading in spite of the lack of significant surprise.

I loved the premise of this book: a high-powered London lawyer, 29-year-old Samantha Sweeting, running from a horrible mistake at work, stops at a house in the Cotswolds for a glass of water, and gets mistaken for an applicant for a domestic servant. Before she knows it, she has taken the job. She can’t cook or clean; she has always used hired help herself. The handsome (of course) gardener Nathaniel notices her plight, and offers to have his mother Iris help Samantha. Iris (of course) just happens to have learned to cook in Italy, and is fantastic at it.

Samantha doesn’t just need training in cooking and cleaning; even relaxation is not natural to her. She comes from a family for whom a typical Christmas is her barrister mom reading a court report, and her head-of-investment brother taking a Xanax while he checked financial indexes. (She has another brother, but he had a nervous breakdown.) For Samantha, time has always been divided into six-minute intervals (corresponding to how law firms bill clients), and working all hours of every day and every night just seems natural. Iris and Nathaniel aim to teach her otherwise.

Samantha’s new employers, the Geigers, are very funny and very endearing, if a bit benighted. But they are far preferable to her previous employers. In fact, she finds out just how much when she inadvertently discovers the real nature of her “mistake” at the law firm.

Evaluation: This book by Kinsella is delightful. Although the story arcs in her books are similar to one another, she adds so much hilarity that it is a joy to read her books anyway. They are just the thing when you are looking for a light sorbet between your heavier main course books. ( )
  nbmars | Aug 24, 2016 |
Such a cute book! There were some slow spots, but overall a cute chick lit book. ( )
  lotoflivinglefttodo | Jul 21, 2016 |
I love love loved this book. It’s my favorite Kinsella book I’ve read so far. It was funny but also a beautiful love story and also great commentary on life and priorities. It gave me the warm fuzzies, you guys.

I think one of the things I like best about Kinsella books is how they present all of women’s life options as totally valid ones, even if the heroine herself doesn’t realize that at first. What matters most is the heroine doing what makes her happy, and often the drama comes from the heroine forcing herself to be something she’s not or align herself with life values she doesn’t have. In any case, this book walks a great line of neither demonizing career women nor women who stay at home. It also doesn’t present doing a high-powered, high-education track as better than doing a traditionally blue collar job like housekeeping or cooking. Yes, at first Samantha thinks one of them is better and looks down on the other, but ultimately she realizes the pluses and minuses of both types of jobs, and I really like seeing that in chick lit. A lot. I also really enjoyed seeing the struggle Samantha has between part of herself wanting the high-powered career and part wanting the quiet life at home. I think that’s a feeling many modern women can relate to.

The romance is also quite sweet. The early on playing between Samantha and her man and how that progresses made me feel like I was cozied up in a just the right temperature bath. But I also really liked that the book shows that compromise in a relationship is necessary. Both of them have to adjust their perceptions to fit the new reality of each other and both are willing to make compromises and meet in the middle.

Of course it’s also funny. What’s not funny about a lawyer trying to keep house when she doesn’t know anything about cleaning or cooking? At some point though the humor transitions into scenes that I can only describe as warm and glowing. That focus in on what really matters in life.

I was entertained. My life goals and ambitions were strengthened and validated. And I (maybe) (ok, definitely) cried happy-ever-after tears at the end of the book. I suppose if you’re a reader who doesn’t understand people who want to work a job they at least moderately enjoy and live life at a reasonable pace with lots of time with those they love then you might not enjoy this book. But I’d also say you need to read it and take a hard look at Samantha’s life before and after her lessons.

Check out my full review.

*initial thoughts*
A highly relatable main character and super cute romance with believable obstacles. I found it to be a real comfort read that also challenged me to be brave. ( )
  gaialover | Jul 11, 2016 |
I learned what is meant by a summer read. I could not sleep a few years ago . Glad I had this book. Ended reading the last bit in the garden while sunbathing.A Nice and easy fun read. ( )
  Marlene-NL | Mar 12, 2016 |
Well the thing is...Overall I liked the book, but it was never really that funny or mysterious or anything. It's an OK book. But I'll give Sophie one thing, she does know how to create male characters that take your breath away. ( )
  Glaucialm | Feb 18, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 146 (next | show all)
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
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?
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385338694, Paperback)

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?

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:14 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

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.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 10 descriptions

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