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The Undomestic Goddessby Sophie Kinsella
Reading Group Guide
1. How would you have responded to the questions that introduce Chapter One? Have you ever been accused of being addicted to stress? What's the difference between having a busy life and being a workaholic?
2. How did the office politics at Carter Spink compare to your experience in the world of work? Who is the Ketterman in your life, dropping huge, last-minute projects on your desk?
3. What accounts for the different lives led by Samantha and her childhood friend, Freya? What fun and essential roles does Freya play in Samantha's life?
4. Before Samantha leaves London, what are her highest expectations regarding love? Was there anything appealing about six-minute sex with Jacob? What stokes her attraction to Guy?
5. Samantha wistfully adores "The Waltons." Why is her family so different from the one depicted in that show? What does the ideal family look like in the twenty-first century?
6. Discuss the debate between Samantha and Mrs. Farley at the end of Chapter Three. Is sewing on a button a valuable skill, or at least as valuable as Mrs. Farley says it is? What are the most valuable skills for women to master?
7. Samantha describes the disorder of her desk-and her life-that made her vulnerable to the alleged registration mistake. What did her clutter indicate about her state of mind at that time?
8. With her uncanny knack for numbers and her fiercely competitive streak, Samantha was a natural for corporate law. Was she also a natural domestic goddess, even though the basic instruction had been withheld from her as she grew up? Does Melissa have what it takes to succeed in law?
9. What do Nathaniel's and Samantha's histories have in common? What makes them an unlikely couple, yet a perfect couple? How do they gradually learn to trust each other?
10. Are Trish and Eddie good bosses? Would you want to work for them?
11. At times, Samantha suffers from a sort of withdrawal after leaving Carter Spink. What is the equivalent of Carter Spink in your life-the community or organization without which you would feel empty? Have you ever had to face the prospect of losing that connection? What alternative plan would you come up with, as Samantha stumbled into the Geiger plan?
12. Chapter Sixteen describes the experience of Iris's kitchen and Samantha's awakening to simple, natural miracles such as rising bread. What healing perspective does Iris impart to Samantha?
13. Much to her horror, Samantha is hounded by the media for sound bites and pursued by advertisers to become an icon for products. Do the headlines in Chapter Twenty-four raise any real-life issues? Do women and men face identical challenges in the modern corporate world?
14. Which of the novel's scenes kept you on the edge of your seat the longest? Could you have maintained a false identity for as long as Samantha did? Would you have gone back to work for Carter Spink?
15. What do you predict for Samantha and Nathaniel's future?
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