BOOK: I Don’t Know How She Does it
I stayed up late last night polishing off the final pages of Allison Pearson’s I Don’t Know How She Does It. I didn’t read Bridget Jones’ Diary, but I wonder if it was similar. Very real, very up-to-date, but still fictional… this book felt very timely to me, as a parent of two kids. Basic gist: London financial whiz Kate Reddy is also a mother of two, juggling the demands of a high-paying (but all-demanding) job with her kids and her husband. I won’t drag on with the whole plot, but I felt like I was watching a train wreck at times, wondering whether or not she would have an affair. The affair seemed a symbol of the important question: what will win when she’s forced to choose between family and job?. I was surprised by the event which brings the book to its dramatic height. More important, though, was that the ending didn’t get too tidy… although it was a bit ‘happier’ than you would have expected.
I read the book because my wife read it in her bookgroup, and laughed out loud at various lines. I, too, found some parts so spot-on amusing I smiled, which is about the best I do when reading something funny. I wonder if the atmosphere in this story will feel incredibly dated in 10 or 20 years. Hard to tell, but there’s something dangerous about a novel being too in-the-moment sometimes. I guess I wonder if this book — which is fashionable right now — will stand up as a must-read in a generation. Now, that’s a pretty hard standard to hold up. This book had enough strength to make me think it has a chance… which is a solid effort for something I enjoyed like popcorn at times. I’ll bet there’s a screenplay being shopped right now, with the action moved from England to NYC. Let me know.