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The Undomestic Goddess Hardcover – July 19, 2005

4.2 out of 5 stars 655 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Samantha Sweeting, the 29-year-old heroine of Kinsella's latest confection (after Shopaholic Sister), is on the verge of partnership at the prestigious London law firm Carter Spink—the Holy Grail of her entire workaholic life. But when she finds she has made a terrible, costly mistake just before the partnership decision, she's terrified of being fired. In a fog, she stumbles out of the building and onto the nearest train, which drops her in the countryside, where she wanders to a stately home. The nouveau riche lady of the house mistakes her for the new housekeeper—and Samantha is too astonished to correct her. Numb and unable to face returning to London, Samantha tries to master the finer points of laundry, cooking and cleaning. She discovers that the slow life, her pompous but good-hearted employers and the attentions of the handsome gardener, Nathaniel, suit her just fine. But her past is hard to escape, and when she discovers a terrible secret about her firm—and when the media learns that the former legal star is scrubbing toilets for a living—her life becomes more complicated than ever. If readers can swallow the implausible scenario, then Kinsella's genuine charm and sweet wit may continue to win her fans. (July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Fans of Kinsella's popular Shopaholic series will find the author in fine form here in her second stand-alone tale, following Can You Keep a Secret? (2004). Samantha Sweeting, an ambitious lawyer on the fast track to becoming a partner at her prestigious law firm, is horrified to discover an overlooked memo on her desk that ends up costing a client 50 million pounds. In a daze, Samantha hops a train and finds herself in the country. She walks up to the first house she sees and knocks on the door, intending to inquire about the nearest hotel, but Trish Geiger mistakes her for the new housekeeper. Still in shock, Samantha decides to go along with Trish and her husband, Eddie's, mistake, despite the fact that she has no domestic skills. Happily, she is aided by the handsome gardener, Nathaniel. He helps her forget about her London law firm, until she makes a startling discovery. Another charming winner from the delightful Kinsella. Kristine Huntley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: The Dial Press; First Printing edition (July 19, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385338686
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385338684
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (655 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #783,268 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Danielle VINE VOICE on July 23, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Undomestic Goddess is yet anotherwinner from Sophie Kinsella. I read the book in a day and a half because it was a easy fun read. Samantha Sweeting is a hard working lawyer who is on her way to being made a partner at her firm-until she makes a mistake. Samantha then panics and goes into the English countryside. Samantha is mistaken for a housekeeper and she can't seem to find a way to tell her employers Trish and Eddie the truth. So she struggles to learn to cook and clean and this leads to some funny situations. I believe that another amazon.com reviewer said that they found it hard to believe that she became a "world class chef" so quickly, but I didn't find that to be true. She learns to cook but I don't know if I would classify as a her cooking as world class chef cooking. I found the love story in the book to be very sweet. Although, I personally liked the Shopaholic series and Can you keep a secret?, The Undomestic Goddess is a good funny book and I recommend it to anyone who likes Sophie Kinsella and anyone who is a fan of chic-lit books.
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Format: Hardcover
I am a big Can You Keep a Secret fan, so I was looking forward to a SK book that wasn't part of the Shopaholic series. The book is very cute and also interesting, but totally unrealistic. Of course, SK's books are all a bit unrealistic, but this one is plain silly. The book tries to end about 3 or 4 times before actually coming to a conclusion. It was a cute book but fell apart at the end. If you like SK, you'll prolly be able to look past the flaws, and you'll like this book. I wish that I'd borrowed it from the library instead of purchasing it, though.
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Format: Paperback
Although Sophie Kinsella's protagonists often exasperate me, I found Samantha to be a much more likable and realistic character compared to Becky of the Shopaholic series. I certainly related to her feelings of getting out of the fast-paced rat race of her high powered career in the big city and finding happiness in a simpler life that allows for rewarding downtime. This story had more substance than the Shopaholic books too, as Samantha clears her name and restores her professional reputation, and then must face the dilemma of returning to her old life as expected of her, or following her heart. I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that the authors style of writing, especially the dialogue, is as funny and enjoyable as always, and makes the book move along smoothly with lots of laughing out loud!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I guess even the great Sophie Kinsella can write a clunker once. Having dearly loved the Shopaholic books plus her other two free-standing ones, I was anxious to read this. Happily, it did have her trademark humor and slightly unrealistic situations up to a point. I am more than willing to suspend reality when reading chick lit and relish the pure joy of the situation, the humor, and the romance. But in the last fifty pages of this one, the writer lost me both emotionally and intellectually. Samantha Sweeting ceased to be the high-powered London lawyer who through goofy circumstances became a domestic in the English countryside. She became an utter fool. I always pass on Sophie Kinsella's books to my twenty-something daughter who loves her work as much as I do, but I will put a warning label on this one...happiness is not available to only the poor. Career women with fast-track and highly responsible jobs can also find happiness and romance.

I'm happy to say that REMEMBER ME, her next free-standing book, is excellent and on a par with the incomparable Shopaholic series. I'll continue to always read her books, but this is not one I could recommend.
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Format: Hardcover
I enjoy an occasional chick-lit book, and I've been hearing things about Kinsella's Shopaholic series for a while. So, when I saw this novel on the library shelf, I thought I'd give it a try.

The novel opens with Samantha Sweeting, a 29 year old British corporate lawyer, filling out a questionnaire to determine her stress level. It's obvious from the start that this likeable lady has her priority list of of whack, as does the rest of her family. On the eve of the meeting to determine whether she will become her firm's youngest partner, an encounter with her elderly, tounge-clucking neighbor foreshadows future events when the neighbor mutters how sad it is that Samantha can't even sew a missing button onto her shirt.

Samantha, already high-strung, is even more so when she arrives at work the next day, anticipating what the decision will be regarding her partnership. To relax, she begins to clear mountains of paperwork off her desk. In so doing, she finds a month's-old memo saying that she was to file some paperwork. With horror, Samantha realizes she's made a beginner's blunder. The situation escalates when she discovers that this blunder can't be corrected and that she's lost a client 50 million pounds. In shock, she flees the office and randomly hops on a train out of the city. Lost and heartsick, wandering through some small town, she decides to ask for an aspirin and water at the next home. In doing so, she is mistaken for a new housekeeper applicant and due to the "stronger than aspirin" medicine she is given, isn't thinking straight

Samantha decides to salvage her life and pretend that she really is a housekeeper, especially since she has become a laughingstock in the legal world. Predictable disasters occur with this can't-boil-water type.
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