May 7, 2008

Dirty Domesticity

Sophie Kinsella's The Undomestic Goddess is a quick read for commuting and equally as amusing as her other books. I enjoyed Samantha Sweeting's character much more than I did Lexi Smart. I also didn't see as much of Becky Bloomwood in this character as I did in Lexi Smart. Kinsella has a fine talent for getting to the heart of high-powered career women who forget about the finer things in life while they are competing (and winning) in a male dominated profession.

****Spoiler Alert***
Samantha Sweeting is a powerful attorney in London, who much like her mother strives to be the best at her job. To accomplish her goal of becoming a partner at Carter Spink, Samantha works more hours than the other attorneys and barely has a social life. When she finally manages to get time off to have dinner with her mom and brother, she ends up having dinner with two cell phones, an assistant, and singing group of waiters. Suffice to say, her personal life can't get much worse. That's what you would think, but then the senior partner from the firm, the one she does not have a cordial relationship with, moves into her building, two floors up.

Early on, something goes terribly wrong at the firm and she panics. Heads out of town to the countryside where she is mistakenly hired as a housekeeper. At first she takes the job because she is still in a state of shock, but as she learns of the fallout from her "mistake," she decides that being a housekeeper could be a fine change of pace. After many dirty domestic mishaps, Samantha realizes she needs some cooking and cleaning lessons. Nathaniel, the gardener, offers his mother's services after laughing at her expense when she fails to start the washing machine and can barely make toast and coffee. Iris, his mother, sets about helping Samantha become domestic. She teaches her how to make food, bread, pastry, and other items, but most importantly, Iris helps her slowdown and relax...take in the little things about life and cooking. The scenes with Iris and Nathaniel on the weekends are fantastic.

***End Spoiler Alert***

I won't go into all the details of the book, but there is a great scene in the garden between Samantha and Nathaniel that just made me swoon. Yes, I said swoon. I wish that romance of that caliber were real. Don't get me wrong, love is still here in my life, it's just different. The puppy love of this scene made me reminisce. The resolution of the book is exactly what you would expect; well, maybe not exactly as you picture it. But you get your just desserts.

Also reviewed at:
A Girl Walks Into a Bookstore
Book Escape

5 comments:

Nicole said...

My friend just gave this one to me to read. I didn't read your spoiler, but I defintely like books that make me swoon.

Serena said...

It's a great book, and if you review it, please feel free to send me your link!

Anna said...

I liked this one better than her newer one as well. If the romance in these novels wasn't different than what we were used to and didn't make us swoon, people probably wouldn't want to read it. That's why there's such a big market for the Fabio-covered romance novels that are big with the old ladies (at least where my gram lives anyway LOL)!

Nicole said...

I just finished it. I liked it, but not as much as Can You Keep a Secret?

My link is http://nbbaker1102.wordpress.com/2008/05/20/sophie-kinsella-the-undomestic-goddess/

I really enjoy your reviews. They are so well written and thought out.

Serena said...

Thanks for the nice comment about my reviews Nicole.

Can You Keep a Secret? I read in two or three days which is unusual for me. I generally take a week to read a book. I linked your review to Undomestic Goddess as well. Feel free to link my reviews to yours as well.