Meet Kate Reddy, fund manager and mother of two. A victim of time famine, Kate counts seconds like other women count calories. Factor in a manipulative nanny, an Australian boss who looks at Kate's breasts as if they're on special offer, a long-suffering husband, her quietly aghast in-laws, two needy children and an e-mail lover, and you have a woman juggling so many balls that some day soon something's going to hit the ground.
In an uproariously funny and achingly sad novel, Allison Pearson brilliantly dramatises the dilemma of working motherhood at the start of the twenty-first century.
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For some considerable time, Allison Pearson's journalism and television punditry have represented an oasis of wit and intelligence in an era of dumbing-down. Her speciality is the perfectly judged observation: the devastatingly spot-on anatomising of the foibles of human behaviour--always unsparing, but always full of good humour. It’s hardly surprising, then, that I Don't Know How She Does It: Kate Reddy is crammed full of those same qualities: this beguiling and sharply observed novel is based on her weekly Daily Telegraph column. The publishers tell us that this is "a comedy about failure, a tragedy about success", and that gets it about right; at the centre of this utterly readable tale is the beleaguered Kate Reddy.
Pearson's heroine spends her life dealing with nagging guilt and the impossible demands of an over-busy life. Yes, we're talking about the crushing demands put on modern women--and Kate is a classic case of just how difficult it is to "have it all". Career, relationships, marriage--as many women know, managing them all is a Herculean task. And as Kate's juggling act carries her closer and closer to disaster, Allison Pearson herself pulls off a particularly jaw-dropping juggling act herself: certainly, I Don't Know How She Does It is a delightful comedy of manners with a beautifully observed heroine (with whom it's very easy to identify), but there are some razor-sharp points made under the surface here about women in the new century. But this is never at the expense of an unputdownable read--Pearson is much too canny a writer to forget the fact that we want to be entertained first and foremost, whatever else an author may freight in to their narrative. No wonder all those Hollywood film studios are already putting up millions for the screen rights. --Barry ForshawReview:
"I can't think of a woman who wouldn't want this book" ( India Knight, Guardian)
"I love Kate Reddy... Her tale made me cry twice, and laugh often" ( Independent on Sunday)
"A very clever and frequently hilarious book" ( Sarah Jessica Parker)
"Very smart, very funny and very sad...it nails what it means to lots of us to be alive and female in 2011" ( Grazia)
"Pearson is a very witty and moving writer. Her prose is spare and skilful, spiked with ingenious similes, waspish truisms and spot-on social observations" ( Daily Express)
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Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: NEW. Unread, very minor shelf wear. Bookseller Inventory # HBS-00210589-B
Book Description Vintage Books, 2011. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0099570068