⚦ I Don't Know How She Does It Books ✫ Author Allison Pearson – Natus-physiotherapy.co.uk

I Don't Know How She Does It Delightfully Smart And Heartbreakingly Poignant, Allison Pearson S 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 Am In A Panic Over The Need To Produce A Homemade Pie For Her Daughter S School, She Has To Admit Her Life Has Become Unrecognizable With Panache, Wisdom, And Uproarious Wit,I Don T Know How She Does Itbrilliantly Dramatizes The Dilemma Of Every Working Mom


10 thoughts on “I Don't Know How She Does It

  1. says:

    I don t know why, but for some reason this book got a rise out of me It s supposed to be light reading, in the vein of chick lit, but I struggled to finish it Basically it s about a fictional career woman juggling her career and her family which is incredibly hard Instead of admiring the character s efforts I was really angry at her I wonder if it s just me.These are the things I found wrong whenever Kate, the main character, had time to spend with her kids, she seemed to really hate it I don t know why, but for some reason this book got a rise out of me It s supposed to be light reading, in the vein of chick lit, but I struggled to finish it Basically it s about a fictional career woman juggling her career and her family which is incredibly hard Instead of admiring the character s efforts I was really angry at her I wonder if it s just me.These are the things I found wrong whenever Kate, the main character, had time to spend with her kids, she seemed to really hate it Kate couldn t wait for Monday to come so she could unload the kids on the nanny If they were that unbearable, why bother having them in the first place Being a mom is hard, and it s not always fun, but it the author made it seem like parents are masochistic for putting up with their kids Secondly, Kate treated her husband badly throughout the book and I wasn t satisfied with how the situation between the two of them was resolved in the book I thought he should ve left her long ago.I didn t enjoy this book at all I think it s because I see this balance between career and family as a real problem women face, that I might someday have to deal with, and instead of addressing it in a constructive way I think this book ridiculed it Perhaps my mistake is taking this book too seriously but if this is what motherhood is all about I don t think I want to join the club


  2. says:

    I don t even know why I stuck with this book for so long IT S OKAY TO QUIT BOOKS, Erin.


  3. says:

    Note I m reviewing this quite a long time after I finished the book because I ve been really busy for the past couple of months I can still remember what I really disliked about this book, so I m going to write the review, but I might be shaky on some of the precise details Be warned Are you a man who has lived alone for any portion of your life Are you a man who can complete most domestic tasks Are you a man who managed to dress yourself this morning If so CONGRATULATIONSI really d Note I m reviewing this quite a long time after I finished the book because I ve been really busy for the past couple of months I can still remember what I really disliked about this book, so I m going to write the review, but I might be shaky on some of the precise details Be warned Are you a man who has lived alone for any portion of your life Are you a man who can complete most domestic tasks Are you a man who managed to dress yourself this morning If so CONGRATULATIONSI really don t know how you did it.The distinct impression of men I get from Pearson is that they are, whether a high flying businessman or not, one very obvious type They can do nothing by themselves At one point, Kate goes on a rant that men insist upon being waited on by all women in their life first their mother, then they get married as a solution to no longer having a mother to clean up after them, and expect their wife to do notihng but take care of the house and the children They get married not out of love, but out of the need to find a maternal substitute Now, I don t have a utopian ideal of relationships or anything, but I did have the overwhelming sense that Pearson was bullshitting me I understand that some men are like that but come on She met him at Cambridge She was obviously a career girl from day one yet, for some reason my opinion Pearson needed as much misogynistic fuel as she could to spin on her sexist plot , he s incapable of grasping the fact that he has to do things for himself while she s on her eight a.m eight p.m workday But the worst element of all was in Robin Cooper Clark, the bigwig whom Kate works for, that she has used as a nice foil to her husband s neediness and made me think that, yeah, maybe this reasonable and kind figure meant that I Don t Know How She Does It wasn t utterly mired in misandry But, oh, no How wrong was I When Robin Cooper Clark s wife, Jill view spoiler dies hide spoiler , he falls apart Quite literally When Kate sees him, she gives an icky, inappropriate monologue about how much he s let himself go And there I was, thinking, oh, it s because of grief, you stupid hag , Kate took one look at him and surmised it was because he couldn t cope without a woman in his life Yep, that s right Forget the fact that he s lost his wife, the woman he had children with and married for a good 25 years He just can t cope because men can t cope without women But I Don t Know How She Does It wasn t quite at its nadir yet Because, less than two months after that, Robin got back together with someone Again, because men just can t cope without women It was some creepy far right feminist bullshit going on here, and I say that as a feminist One of my dad s friends didn t remarry for thirty five years after his wife died I honestly don t know how he did it, if I believe Pearson s crap And all of this would have been slightly better if Kate hadn t had such a didactic freaking tone She literally laid this stuff out for the reader in PARAGRAPHS Some of the summaries I can remember Men are nothing without women Men except to be mothered by their wives All men are out to exploit, overwork and harass you So, be warned, ladies Better regroup in a strip club and plot revenge against your all male antagonists While I don t doubt that sexism is rife in the City, you wouldn t believe the extent to which Pearson hammered this home Having a Dark Ages creep, Chris Bunce, wasn t enough Literally all of the antagonists were male The best binary opposition I can think of is present in minor characters, Kate s underlings, Momo female and Guy male While Momo is a quiet, well educated young woman who gets mercilessly exploited by her male superiors, Guy is a supercilious twat whose good education is proof of what a dickhead he is, who is constantly trying to land Kate in it so that he can move up the City rungs The only time Kate achieves anything remotely like active, she does so in an all female group Kate s dad is used for the plan, but totally passively, because he s so drunk and deluded, so its down to the women to move him like a chess piece True, we have two totally good male characters Jack, who is Kate s minor love interest , but he s so cardboard cutout that I don t think he counts as a real character, because Kate never had to interact with him in a real setting, and Winstone, but he s a perpetually stoned taxi driver whose car is full of marijuana smoke, so he s obviously outside of Kate s intense City world Kate s dad is, as I ve mentioned, a deluded alcoholic who abandoned his family While Richard, Kate s husband, is not 100% sexist, he is definitely useless Despite having an architecture job which, as Kate smugly reminds us, is nowhere near as successdful as her job in finance , he can t clean the house, pick up any slack for Kate or treat her with anything other than mild confusion.And then, we have the women You would have thought that a book with such a rampant anti man message could have scraped up a feminist message, don t you Well, no Pearson spits out this little gem about how becoming a man is a waste of a woman Out of context, you might think that that relates to intellectual challenge or whatever Hell no It refers to the stereotypical sticks of 1950s housewiving motherhood, homemaking and putting out for your husband.If I had to sum up the message of I Don t Know How She Does It because it did give the constant feeling of having a lesson taught , it would be this Ladies, you re never going to be as respected as your male counterparts, and you re going to do half as a job as both a wife and mother, so why bother Just jack in the successful job even if it s the only way you feel truly empowered and intellectually exercised and give yourself up to be a full time mother That s what happens to Kate Despite repeatedly telling the reader quite reasonably, I thought that her job made her feel good about herself and she didn t want to quit, plot contrivance and not even very good plot contrivance her son hurts his arm slaps her around the head and shows her what a silly, selfish person she s been She dumps the job, rejects all forms of compromise and settles down for boring domestic bliss in the country Because that s all women are good for, am I right Well, of course not And, in all fairness, Pearson doesn t quite come out and say that But when she recaps what happened to each of her major female characters, there was a strong tone of, I don t know why they bother about the women still in work, because Kate constantly hammered it home that no matter how good they were, they were never, ever going to be viewed as equals There were also some huge plot holes in this approach Obviously Kate and Richard are financially stable because Kate can finish at her very well paid job and they can start over in the country However, Kate refuses to take a job with Robin Cooper Clark which he promises her will be part time because she just doesn t believe that it will be But, if she s so financially stable, she can quit at any time she wants And surely a woman who doesn t need to be paid can look around for part time work so she can have a better balance But onto another problem that I felt with I Don t Know How She Does It class.Kate is blatantly upper middle class They have a big house, private school educated children and they re both Cambridge educated But one of the things that Kate thinks and wants everyone else to think makes her innately better than everyone else in this goddamn book that she comes from a working class background Not any old working class background her sister is still trapped in a council house and five children life and her dad is an alcoholic gambler and Kate thinks that her attachment to them makes her so much damn better because as she keeps reminding us, she s not upper class like the rest of her peers and therefore she s not just better, but she s nicer,relatable anddetermined what I never saw any evidence of any of those informed attributes For instance, this gem Happy childhoods are no bloody good for drive and success So, basically, unhappy children make happy adults I don t think so, lady Last time I looked, most of the results of an unhappy childhood come in therapy, emotional scars and low self esteem Bear in mind, now, that she s also talking about her husband, Richard, who may be middle class born and bred but still got into Cambridge, no mean feat even for a middle class child and, while he may not be as wonderful and superior as St Kate, does work at an architecture firm, which seems to be his dream job Also, her sister, Julie, is the product of the exact same childhood that Kate had, yet it s hardly made her driven and successful she s a lonely, impoverished womamn in a council house All girls in the City apparently have Daddy issues The men aren t lucky enough to get Freudian excuses they have the drive to succeed because they re men, and it s what men do The City girls are all pathetic idiots and so are still subservient to men Not only that, but Kate has several other moral jewels to hold up Kate is very opposed to abortion Rather than explaining this moral view I m really pro choice myself, but my sister is anti abortion , she simply sulks with Candy in a really disgusting scene Candy is determined that she s not going to have children and so, when she gets pregnant as the result of a one night stand , she s going to have an abortion Kate throws a hissy fit like, I m sorry, Mrs Reddy, I wasn t aware that this was your body under discussion and her strongest argument is you might regret it Candy is already 37 and has shown no sign of regretting it and a late abortion is not fun not contesting that point, but seriously A late abortion is worse than bringing up a child you re not even sure you want I m not sure if I m biased because my mum and I were talking about children a few nights ago and she basically said that her desire to have children was overwhelming and, yes, she was absolutely sure Kate is proof that kids do swallow up your life, for better or worse, and that you have to be sure Candy is not, yet Kate guilts her into keeping the baby And of course having it is a wonderful transformative experience, because Candy realises how moronic she s been with her fun lifestyle and accepts her true purpose in life motherhood Between disgusting, didactic sexism both misogyny and misandry and the most unlikeable female protaganist I think I have ever read, forget The Handmaid s Tale I Don t Know How She Does It is the true feminist nightmare


  4. says:

    I think about this book almost on a daily basis Can you really be a successfull hedgefund manager at a prestigious company thinly vailed as Morgan Stanley , be a good mother raise two kids and participate in all their school acitivities and be a loving wife All in the same life at the same time The book offers up som hilarious scenarios and really pinpoints how the corporate world discourages career women as mothers all while saying they as a company is a very family friendly place.It al I think about this book almost on a daily basis Can you really be a successfull hedgefund manager at a prestigious company thinly vailed as Morgan Stanley , be a good mother raise two kids and participate in all their school acitivities and be a loving wife All in the same life at the same time The book offers up som hilarious scenarios and really pinpoints how the corporate world discourages career women as mothers all while saying they as a company is a very family friendly place.It also takes a critical look at the stay at home moms that gave up so much that they try and channel all of their life into raising their kids and condemn any woman that chooses not to follow that path As the protagonist wonders These women spend all their energy trying to stimulate their daughters, to get them the best possible education out there, for what To have them grow up and be stay at home moms like themselves What is wrong with these women


  5. says:

    This book annoyed the crap out of me view spoiler While reading the first three quarters of it, I was stressed out because Kate Reddy is a disorganized, confused mess, and then the ending just pissed me off What was the moral supposed to be Give up when things get too hard Lower yourself to the standards of the scumbags around you and go down in flames just to prove a point hide spoiler I m sick of these books that reinforce stereotypes such as men need women to take care of them, and This book annoyed the crap out of me view spoiler While reading the first three quarters of it, I was stressed out because Kate Reddy is a disorganized, confused mess, and then the ending just pissed me off What was the moral supposed to be Give up when things get too hard Lower yourself to the standards of the scumbags around you and go down in flames just to prove a point hide spoiler I m sick of these books that reinforce stereotypes such as men need women to take care of them, and isn t that the most important job of all Contrary to popular belief, it s possible to be a working mother and be both a good worker and a good mother, and men are actually capable of doing things like cleaning the house thoroughly, cooking good dinners, and expertly changing diapers That s not to say it s not difficult, but I felt this book almost poked fun at it, and ultimately sided with the Muffia You would think most women would want to rid the world of these kinds of stereotypes, but we do a good job of keeping them going This book is going in the trash


  6. says:

    I bought I Don t Know How She Does It for 50 cents off the library sale cart one day, fully expecting to hate it, but intrigued enough to hand over a small donation for the pleasure of hating it in my own time When the book came out, there was a media firestorm that took advantage of the presumed premise of mommy wars pitting stay at home mothers vs working mothers in a spitting, catty, bitchfest As media firestorms usually are, this one was based only on a germ of truth Kate Reddy, her I bought I Don t Know How She Does It for 50 cents off the library sale cart one day, fully expecting to hate it, but intrigued enough to hand over a small donation for the pleasure of hating it in my own time When the book came out, there was a media firestorm that took advantage of the presumed premise of mommy wars pitting stay at home mothers vs working mothers in a spitting, catty, bitchfest As media firestorms usually are, this one was based only on a germ of truth Kate Reddy, heroine of the novel, does have issues with stay at home mothers, but only those she calls the Muffia, women who are devoted to making her feel guilty about her own choices However, these are not the only stay at home mothers in the book, and this isn t the driving plot I Don t Know How She Does It, narrated in the first person, could have been titled I Don t Know How I Do It Kate is juggling work, marriage, motherhood, mentorship, an unwanted attraction to another man, and nagging feelings about all the things she s just not getting around to friends, family, home improvement, and a social life Something s got to give, and it seems quite likely that Kate herself might be that something The book is laugh out loud funny, but also tugs forcefully on the heartstrings, often on the same page, or even in the same paragraph Both humor and upset are written with sharp realism and Kate is never a caricature I found it utterly satisfying, but by no means a satire or a fairy tale I don t know how Allison Pearson did it, but it worked Most likely, she just told the truth


  7. says:

    It wouldn t be a lie to say I wanted to read this book for years I passed it on the bookstore shelf, I don t know how many times Well, maybe my intuition was telling me something I found the main character Kate to be a lousy mum, sorry if that insults any working moms, but she really was just crap I just found myself to be very unsympathetic towards her.


  8. says:

    I grappled a lot over the stars for this one, and would settle on three and a half if G reads would let me but I will err on the side ofstars if only because as much as what I will say might sound negative, that in itself is the mark of a good book which is to say, it definitely affected me.The premise of this work is a woman with a job that is in itself a demanding marriage constant crises and traveling and coddling clients while in the meantime there is the real husband as well a I grappled a lot over the stars for this one, and would settle on three and a half if G reads would let me but I will err on the side ofstars if only because as much as what I will say might sound negative, that in itself is the mark of a good book which is to say, it definitely affected me.The premise of this work is a woman with a job that is in itself a demanding marriage constant crises and traveling and coddling clients while in the meantime there is the real husband as well as the real kids who also need her attention.So ostensibly this is Bridget Jones grown up in that it possesses that same glib British wit and similar diaryesque stream of consciousness which on occasion outdid itself as funny as it was, and it was, it got to where oneperfect, universal simile of comparing your handbag to XYZ that we can all relate to would make me rip my hair out but where BJ s loneliness, real as it was, came wrapped in a disarmingly funny style, this book was a terse and thinly disguised rant against, above all, the fallacy of the feminist movement.I happen to applaud many of her points that we think we can have it all are supposed to, and simply can t That we fight to be the same as men but we are not, nor are we treated as such That at the end of the day the pull to being a mother is the rawest one and will win out, and somewhere we will feel like losers as a result.So in many ways I found this funny book to be extremely heavy and, well, depressing Her struggle was at times very poignant, the failure of her marriage and her juggling painful to read At times I rooted for this very real woman and at times I thought, uch I hate people like this people who can snap at the poor clerk because she is just SO busy, blah blah blah, but in truth Pearson really does a good job vilanizing and humanizing this woman simulataneously.Anyway I do recommend it, it was at times a lot of fun and thought provoking Just be warned, it can really be a downer at times but maybe that was the best part


  9. says:

    This book is basically a work of nonfiction masquerading as a book of fiction Every woman should read this before and during child rearing Then she should dog ear pages of the book and force her spouse, partner or child s sperm donor to read At that point, the spouse, partner or sperm donor will probably do some eye rolling and then ignore the crucial heart of the book someone has to take care of the details Such is life.I found this book to be so achingly true it waslike a punch in t This book is basically a work of nonfiction masquerading as a book of fiction Every woman should read this before and during child rearing Then she should dog ear pages of the book and force her spouse, partner or child s sperm donor to read At that point, the spouse, partner or sperm donor will probably do some eye rolling and then ignore the crucial heart of the book someone has to take care of the details Such is life.I found this book to be so achingly true it waslike a punch in the face than a breath of fresh air In fact, it was almost a job to finish it since it basically looked, smelled and felt like my life with the exception that I spend a shit tontime with my kid then the, shall we say, heroine, and I would give my left boob to stay at home and raise him but that s a whole other review and requires a lot of details as to why I m not staying at home but instead have committed myself to a really jealous boyfriend i.e., my job Needless to say, the movie which is set to come out soon couldn t hold a candle to the book I don t even need to see it because I guarantee you they changed the ending and made it a lotromantic There s no romance here ladies just a lot of pressure put on one woman to finesse the lives of her kids and one very kind but slow husband You could say she shouldn t try so hard But, that would be like telling a caged bird not to sing


  10. says:

    I don t know how she does it Well, I do selfishly I was so disgusted with the self centered, self righteous worldview of the main character I quit the book 150 pages into it The portrayal of heroine as victim of her parenting, professional, and marital circumstances I think not Reaping seeds of a lifetime of selfishness, I think so Quite hard to be endeared to such a myopic, naval gazing protagonist If she were humble, introspective, insightful, or even funny she would have been a lo I don t know how she does it Well, I do selfishly I was so disgusted with the self centered, self righteous worldview of the main character I quit the book 150 pages into it The portrayal of heroine as victim of her parenting, professional, and marital circumstances I think not Reaping seeds of a lifetime of selfishness, I think so Quite hard to be endeared to such a myopic, naval gazing protagonist If she were humble, introspective, insightful, or even funny she would have been a lot easier to stomach 150 pages I endured of her spinning her wheels, dissatisfying everyone, herself included, just so she could have it all The woman s movement wasn t about having it all it was about having options Jesus said Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will keep it And I think that is a farbeneficial way to look at life, marriage and motherhood, working outside the home or not