At first, after looking at the covers of "Confessions of a Shopaholic," I wasn't interested. Why would I want to read books about a woman who shopped her heart out? What could be so funny about that? It wasn't until a girl at work urged me to pick up "Confessions of a Shopaholic" that I caved in. They're hilarious, she told me, and you'll adore them. She was wrong. The Shopaholic trilogy was hysterical and I loved every single book in the trilogy.
I have since eagerly devoured every other Sophie Kinsella book. "Shopaholic and Sister" was absolutely brilliant. "Can You Keep a Secret?" made me laugh out loud on the bus, in public, or at work while I was reading it on my break. So, when "The Undomestic Goddess" came out, I went out and snapped up the hardcover book, not wanting to wait till the paperback came out. And man, I wasn't disappointed. "The Undomestic Goddess" is worth way more than the $31.00 Canadian I paid for it.
Kinsella's new heroine is Samantha Sweeting, a high paid and high stressed lawyer for the prestigious London law firm Carter Spink. An only child, her mother is a judge for the Supreme Court. Samantha knew she would do nothing else but go into law and become a partner at a high-powered law firm. For years she has worked, making billable hours, making money in increments of six minutes.
Occasionally she stops to think about what it would be like to have a boyfriend or a lover, but with every six minutes of her time taken up, she knows that she would never have the time. Sometimes, she wonders what she wonders what she would do if she were not a lawyer, but pushes those thoughts away. You can't become a partner by musing about what ifs. Then, the dream finally happens.
After years of sweating, fighting, filling out paperwork, winning cases, Samantha is made partner. She can hardly believe it, she's so excited she can hardly believe it when she discovers she made a mistake on some paperwork. Not just a little mistake either; she has made a fifty million pound mistake. She has lost her client fifty million pounds.
Needing some air, needing to get away, she leaves her Carter Spink office and begins to walk, the words fifty million pounds pounding around in her head. She is hardly aware of boarding the subway and ends up in a small suburb with a huge headache. Samantha rings the doorbell of a house with an ornate walkway and garden to ask for a water and some aspirin when a woman mistakes her for a maid from an agency.
Samantha first thinks the woman is crazy until she realizes that they think she is a maid, a domestic. Samantha is far from it; she has never cooked in her life and doesn't even know how to sew on a button. She needs to hide out somewhere until the uproar of her fifty million pound mistake subsides though, so she accepts the job as domestic for Trish and Eddy Geiger.
There is one catch, however: Samantha has no idea what she is doing. She is able to fool the Geiger's, but she suspects that their gardener, hunky Nathaniel, is on to her. She will have to do her best to fool him. Too soon, the secret is up and Nathaniel knows that she is not a domestic. He covers for her anyway, even though he does not know the real reason she has fled.
Soon, Samantha finds herself falling in love with the charming Nathaniel and learning how to cook besides. When her old life as a lawyer comes calling back, when something finally goes right, will Samantha leave her new life to go back to her old one?
"The Undomestic Goddess" is the funniest book I have read all year. I absolutely loved this book. At one point, I was laughing so hard I was actually crying and the last time that happened, I was reading "Can You Keep a Secret?" Her characters are wonderful, well drawn and you actually care for them and root for them. "The Undomestic Goddess" is the best book she has written to date.
Kinsella has topped even herself. Each book is sort of like a hilarious comedy of errors and each book just keeps getting better. I loved this book so much and am glad that Kinsella isn't just writing about shopaholics anymore. I love her characters, her stories, they way she looks at normal life with a jaded, but hilarious, eye. The ordinary is extraordinary with Kinsella.
I can't wait for the next Kinsella novel. In the meantime, I'm just going to have to re-read "The Undomestic Goddess." If you haven't read anything by Kinsella yet, what are you waiting for? Perfect for the beach or for those who like laughing out loud in public, become a Kinsella convert. You won't be sorry.