Kate Reddy has it all--the fantastic husband, the two adorable kids, the high-powered job in finance, the eczema, the spoiled nanny, the half-finished renovations, the stress of knowing the stay-at-home moms will always outbake her at school functions, and the fantastic wardrobe of Armani and power shoes. And let's not forget Winston, the taxi-driver-slash-philosophy-student who helps Kate remember the candies of her childhood. Or the candy tin, anyway, now filled with something a little less sweet and more weed-y.
Kate is a working mom, trying to stay ahead in a chauvinistic business and trying to keep her family together despite being sent around the world to meet with clients at little more than a moment's notice. She only keeps her sanity through emails with friends and an increasingly problematic shoe addiction.
Through a year of her life, stresses grow. Kate still doesn't have a school picked out for her 6-year-old daughter. Her in-laws disapprove of her job. Her husband is growing disillusioned with her being the primary bread winner. Her father is being hounded by creditors, her nanny only stays loyal through an increasing series of bribes, and an email accidentally sent to a client instead of a bestie definitely means certain termination. And then, when her 2-year-old's favorite cuddly toy goes missing, it's a near atomic meltdown for Kate, who is trying to be all things to all people and feeling like there's nothing left to give.
Allison Pearson's I Don't Know How She Does It blends humor and realism into an amazing novel of the modern woman. Taking a hard look as well as a sacrilegious poke at all the questions that women ask themselves, Pearson brings honesty, warmth, and compassion to the everyday situations we all find ourselves in. Have kids or no? Work or stay home to care for the family? The conveniences of the city or the peace of the suburbs? The exclusive school or the public school? Where to vacation? Where do we find the time to do all the things we need to do without losing ourselves in the process?
I'd heard about this book for awhile before taking the plunge. I figured, as I often do, that if something is this popular, it's probably not for me. And as often happens in this situation, I was wrong. This book is amazing and perfect in almost every way, and you are doing yourself a disservice every day that you let go by without picking it up and reading it. With hints of Bridget Jones, Murphy Brown, and Elyse Keaton, Pearson's Kate Reddy is that working mother who can make a killing in the boardroom (when she mistakenly wears her red bra under a white shirt) and make a batch of homemade looking pastries for her daughter's school function with only several boxes of perfect store-bought pastries, a rolling pin, and a little pent-up aggression. Kate Reddy is whip-smart, hysterical, and so very real.
Mail student loan paperwork. Email mom. Pay newspaper. Schedule eye appointment. Look for more books by Allison Pearson. Buy more books by Allison Pearson. Read more books by Allison Pearson.