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I Don't Know How She Does It: The Life of Kate Reddy, Working Motherby Allison Pearson
Synopses & Reviews
For every woman trying to strike that impossible balance between work and home — and pretending that she has — and for every woman who has wanted to hurl the acquaintance who coos admiringly, "Honestly, I just don't know how you do it," out a window, here's a novel to make you cringe with recognition and laugh out loud. With fierce, unsentimental irony, Allison Pearson's novel brilliantly dramatizes the dilemma of working motherhood at the start of the twenty-first century.
Meet Kate Reddy, hedge-fund manager and mother of two. She can juggle nine different currencies in five different time zones and get herself and two children washed and dressed and out of the house in half an hour. In Kate's life, Everything Goes Perfectly as long as Everything Goes Perfectly. She lies to her own mother about how much time she spends with her kids; practices pelvic floor squeezes in the boardroom; applies tips from Toddler Taming to soothe her irascible boss; uses her cell phone in the office bathroom to procure a hamster for her daughter's birthday ("Any working mother who says she doesn't bribe her kids can add Liar to her résumé"); and cries into the laundry hamper when she misses her children's bedtime.
In a novel that is at once uproariously funny and achingly sad, Allison Pearson captures the guilty secret lives of working women — the self-recrimination, the comic deceptions, the giddy exhaustion, the despair — as no other writer has. Kate Reddy's conflict — How are we meant to pass our days? How are we to reconcile the two passions, work and motherhood, that divide our lives? — gets at the private absurdities of working motherhood as only a novel could: with humor, drama, and bracing wisdom.
"An above-average addition to the crowded genre of working-mother-angst novels....From the upper echelons of working mothers, a fictional answer to The Nanny Diaries — and likely to be as popular." Kirkus Reviews
"The definitive social comedy of working motherhood." The Washington Post
"A sparkling novel about juggling marriage, kids, and job (and getting some sleep)." Margaret Carlson, Time
"Pearson's book is refreshingly engaging because of the high quality of the prose and her uncanny ability to move from farce to pathos in the course of a single paragraph." Sarah Lyall, Vogue
"Pearson has an effortlessly smart style . . . I don't know a man on the planet who would get this book–or a woman who wouldn't." Cathleen McGuigan, Newsweek
Delightfully smart and heartbreakingly poignant, Allison Pearsons smash debut novel has exploded onto bestseller lists as “The national anthem for working mothers.” Hedge-fund manager, wife, and mother of two, Kate Reddy manages to juggle nine currencies in five time zones and keep in step with the Teletubbies. But when she finds herself awake at 1:37 a.m. in a panic over the need to produce a homemade pie for her daughters school, she has to admit her life has become unrecognizable. With panache, wisdom, and uproarious wit, I Dont Know How She Does It brilliantly dramatizes the dilemma of every working mom.
About the Author
Allison Pearson, named Critic of the Year and Interviewer of the Year in the British Press Awards, is a weekly columnist in the London Evening Standard and a member of the BBCs Newsnight Review panel. She lives in London with her husband, the New Yorker writer Anthony Lane, and their two children.
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