Normally I would say I'm not that into “chick lit”. I'd generally rather dust off an old-fashioned classic novel by a Bronte sister than pick up a modern-day novel about an ill-fated woman who finally finds romance. Still, when I do come across such a book, I'm often hooked from start to finish! “The Undomestic Goddess” scratches that little itch for the occasional foray into less serious reading.
This is not to belittle the writing quality in any way. Kinsella can turn a phrase – and the head of a country gardener – as she brings her heroine to life on these pages. Samantha Sweeting, a hard-working young attorney, has fought for a spot as a partner in a prestigious law firm since her daydreams as a preteen. She practically lives at the office. But then, tragedy strikes – paperwork for a major account gets buried on her cluttered desk. She has missed a vital deadline! She panics, and flees. Her dreams are dashed.
The series of events that ensues in her life will have you rooting for Samantha as she picks up the pieces and tries to find a way to carry on. Some elements of the story couldn't really happen quite this way in the real world – but that's half the fun of chick lit, isn't it? Others can make us relate to the main character: trying to get everything “right”, trying to choose the right path for ourselves while trying to be there for those we care about . . . . When Samantha takes on a job as a housekeeper, you'll chuckle at her antics in the kitchen. If you've ever royally screwed up a new dish you were trying to cook, you'll certainly get a kick out of this!
The main point of the story seems to be that we may be “sure” we want something in life, only to find out that when an “obstacle” got in the way, we were steered in a completely different direction – and found happiness and peace when we arrived. Sophie Kinsella is also the author of the popular Shopaholic books. (You'll enjoy the British culture showing through in the dialogue of this novel.) The book retails in hardcover for $23.00 in the US or $31.00 in Canada, a price high enough to make me want to cry. I found my copy in the local library. While I quite enjoyed it, I am not likely to ever read it again, so $23 is awfully steep to pay for something that is going to take up a couple of inches of book shelf real estate!
This novel was published in 2005 through Dial Press. ISBN 0-385-33868-6.