A book review.
The Undomestic Goddess is a book by Sophie Kinsella, a British author famous for her Shopacolic series. It first came out in 2005 but I only read it last week.
It tells us a story of an ambitious young career woman, a lawyer working for one of the most prestigious City firms Carter Spink whose only dream is to become a full partner there (I think that's how it's called in English since I only read a Dutch translation). On the first sight, Samantha Sweeting should be an object of everyone's envy. She's only 29 but is already well know for her talents, earns huge salary etc etc.
Yet, the author shows her as entirely miserable. She lives in a trashed up apartment, eats alternatively a Chinese takeaway or pizza and doesn't even have time to visit a beauty parlour. She has to work overtime, never takes a vacation, has no hobbies and only one old school friend. Her family don't care for her, either. They don't even bother to come to her birthday party. Her mother is a typical bitter divorced career woman who hates men and have pushed Samantha to "make something out of herself" since she was a little kid.
It's hardly surprising then that she's close to a nervous breakdown which promptly happens when she discovers that she made a mistake which will cost her company lots of money, and that on the day of her promotion, too! While the colleagues are popping champagne, Samantha literally runs away, catches a train to the middle of nowhere, gets drunk and ends up in the house of a wealthy but not very bright middle-aged Geiger family who think her to be their new housekeeper and are delighted she isn't at least, a foreigner and speaks their language.
When Samantha gets sober, she somehow decides to take up the challenge and stay, though she hardly even knows how to cook an egg, or start a washing machine. Luckily, the Geigers have a very handsome muscular gardener working for them whose mother is an experienced cook. This is only the beginning of a romance, as you well understand, but then Samantha finds a chance to clear her name and get her old life back. Will she do it or not?
The book doesn't pretend to be serious, but the message is quite clear. Housekeeping IS a real job which takes commitment, running the house can be more satisfying than having a high powered career, having friends who really care for you is more important than making lots of money, etc.
I was pleasantly surprised that we still have modern fashionable authors defending more or less traditional values. However, there is one serious drawback, that is rather typical for modern literature which isn't explicitly Christian: a casual and flippant attitude to s*x with some rather graphic descriptions, too. While the characters are talking of love, the word "marriage" isn't even mentioned, though probably hinted at.
So would I recommend it? Yes and no. Read it at your own discretion!