- Paperback: 378 pages
- Publisher: Vintage Books; New Ed edition (December 1, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0099428385
- ISBN-13: 978-0099428381
- Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 5 x 1.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 391 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,815,073 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
I Don't Know How She Does It: A Comedy about Failure, a Tragedy about Success Paperback – December 1, 2006
|New from||Used from|
All Books, All the Time
Read author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more at the Amazon Book Review. Read it now
Customers who bought this item also bought
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Allison Pearson's debut novel, I Don't Know How She Does It, is a rare and beautiful hybrid: a devastatingly funny novel that's also a compelling fictional world. You want to climb inside this book and inhabit it. However, you might find it pretty messy once you're in there. Narrator Kate Reddy is the manager of a hedge fund and mother of two small children. The book opens with an emblematic scene as Kate "distresses" a store-bought mince pie to make it appear homemade. Her days are measured in increments of minutes and even seconds; her fund stays organized but her house and family are falling apart. The book is a pearly string of great lines. Here's Kate on lack of sleep: "They're right to call it a broken night.... You crawl back to bed and you lie there trying to do the jigsaw of sleep with half the pieces missing." On baby boys: "A mother of a one-year-old son is a movie star in a world without critics." On subtle office dynamics:
The women in the offices of EMF [Kate's firm] don't tend to display pictures of their kids. The higher they go up the ladder, the fewer the photographs. If a man has pictures of kids on his desk, it enhances his humanity; if a woman has them it decreases hers. Why? Because he's not supposed to be home with the children; she is.There's inherent drama here: Kate is wildly appealing, and we want things to work out for her. In the end, the book isn't a just collection of clever lines on the theme of working motherhood; it's a real, rich novel about a character we come to cherish. --Claire Dederer --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
This scintillating first novel has already taken its author's native England by storm, and in the tradition of Bridget Jones, to which it is likely to be compared, will almost certainly do the same here. The Bridget comparison has only limited validity, however: both books have a winning female protagonist speaking in a diary-like first person, and both have quirkily formulaic chapter endings. But Kate is notably brighter, wittier and capable of infinitely deeper shadings of feeling than the flighty Bridget, and her book cuts deeper. She is the mother of a five-year-old girl and a year-old boy, living in a trendy North London house with her lower-earning architect husband, and is a star at her work in an aggressive City of London brokerage firm. She is intoxicated by her jet-setting, high-profile job, but also is desperately aware of what it takes out of her life as a mother and wife, and scrutinizes, with high intelligence and humor, just how far women have really come in the work world. If that makes the book sound polemical, it is anything but. It is delightfully fast moving and breathlessly readable, with dozens of laugh-aloud moments and many tenderly touching ones-and, for once in a book of this kind, there are some admirable men as well as plenty of bounders. Toward the end-to which a reader is reluctant to come-it becomes a little plot-bound, and everything is rounded off a shade too neatly. But as a hilarious and sometimes poignant update on contemporary women in the workplace, it's the book to beat.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
1) If you're a woman who wants to suffer every little thought and problem of the 'heroine', and then suffer all the constant feelings of guilt, and finally suffer with others while they suffer, then you definitely need to read the book. It's full of it.
The book goes into absorbing detail of all her guilt and suffering and will probably take you most of a week to read. It simply isn't one of those stories you can fly through, there is far too much detailed suffering.
2) If you're a relatively normal person the book will become excruciating. It goes on and on and on, mostly about how guilty she is to be working and not looking after her children full time and partly about how she is 'shown up' because her pies for the school bake are shop-bought and not home made. Ad nauseum.
The film is the best way to view this story; however even the film is mostly downright stupid. Why did I buy the book after seeing the movie? Because of an abiding implausible belief that the book is usually better than the screenplay.
Sorry, this time it's not.
There's nothing particularly deep about this book. It's just good entertainment. If you have a few days off, a long week-end at the beach, or just want something to fill the time between important matters, pick this one up. It's quick and easy and will keep your interest.
Although I did enjoy this aspect of the book and could strongly relate to it, I found myself increasingly aggitated by the main character Kate Reddy. There was no compromise or give and take with her, especially in regards to her husband. In fact most of the men described in the book were one-dimensional, and compared to my experience very old fashioned. Kate charges around like a bull at a gate, seemingly oblivious to what is really going on around her or bothering to have any real communication about what is going on or what can be done about it- she just takes charge. For me that is where she separates from my experience as a working mum.
Most recent customer reviews
Boohoo you have a husband that loves you, but since you're bored you...Read more