Thursday, 11 August 2011

I Don't Know How She Does It: The Book

Must Remember
Talk with Paula outlining firm new approach to children's haircuts/time-keeping etc.  Talk with Rod Task outlining firm new approach to role with clients, ie I AM NOT THEIR EMERGENCY GEISHA.  Pay rise: repeat after me, I Will Not Accept Extra Work For No Extra Money!  Get quote for new stair carpet.  Buy Christmas tree and stylish lights (John Lewis or Ikea?)  Present for Richard (How to be a Domestic Goddess?), in-laws (cheese barrel or alpine plants advertised in S.Times colour supplement: where did I put the cutting?)  Stocking fillers for E&B.  Fruit jellies, Uncle Alf.  Travel sick sweets?  Ask Paula collect dry cleaning.  Persnal shopper how much?  Pelvic floor squuuueeeze. Make icing for Christmas cake: too late buy roll-on stuff.  Cards stamps first class x30.  Wean Ben off dummy!  Remember Roo!! Ring KwikToy useless bloody present co. and threaten legal action.  Nappies, bottles, Sleeping Beauty video.  Smear Test!!!  Highlights.  Hamster?  ~ I Don' Know How She Does It, Allison Pearson

You may recall that I featured upcoming SJP movie I Don't Know How She Does It in a Movie Monday post a little while back. I also mentioned that it's based on a book by Allison Pearson of the same name and last week whilst holidaying I finally got to peel open the pages.

The story follows Kate Reddy (SJP's character in the movie) Fund Manager, Wife, Mother, Daughter, Sister, Friend.  She struggles to balance all aspects of her life, most importantly home versus work and tackles the familiar scenario of male/female hypocrisy.  In an attempt to prove that Women really can have it all, Kate begins to lose grip on her marriage and her relationship with her children.  Everyone expects one hundred percent and although she may be attempting it to the best of her ability, eventually something has to give.  Whilst battling sneaky male employees vying for her job, "unmaking" mince pies for the school Christmas assembly in an attempt to give the homemade vibe,  exchanging flirty emails with suave American client Jack Abelhammer, busting her ass to get back home in time to at least put her children to bed, making her husband understand that yes she does need to work as many hours as she does, trying to convince her mother-in-law that she doesn't work as many hours as she does and no her husband isn't wasting away due to her lack of attention to him and her constant, last minute, international, business travel, leaves any reader begging the question "I don't know how she does it!"

Any working mother though will recognise this all too well.  The desire to be successful, the attractiveness of being able to be your own person outside of the home, teamed with the overwhelming guilt that you're missing out on everything, from their first haircut to their ballet recitals.  Allison captures the trials and tribulations of a working mother so perfectly that I was exhausted and convinced that I was one just reading it but pleasantly amused simultaneously.  Her ability to match the emotions Kate is battling with hilarious anecdotes makes this a light, quick and thoroughly enjoyable read but by no means a guilty pleasure.  The characters and storyline is an intelligent journey through the modern world, with honest observations but in a laugh out loud manner.

Reading this the book came to life so it will be fab to see if the film has captured the essence of this read too, which from the trailer, that you can check out on a previous post here, I think it will do!

I Don't Know How She Does It is available at Amazon for £6.39 and is due for release in UK cinemas September 16th.

*Image taken from


  1. I've never heard of that movie or the book - I love SJP! Thanks for the heads up, I'll wait for its release here in the US :)


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