Book Review of The Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella
The Undomestic Goddess
Samantha is a high-powered lawyer in London. She works all hours, has no home life, and cares only about getting a partnership. She thrives on pressure and adrenalin. Until one day… she makes a mistake. A mistake so huge, it’ll wreck her career.
She walks right out of the office, gets on the first train she sees and finds herself in the middle of nowhere. Asking for directions at a big, beautiful house, she is mistaken for the interviewee’s housekeeper and finds herself being offered the job. They have no idea they’ve hired a Cambridge-educated lawyer with an IQ of 158 – Samantha has no idea how to work the oven.
Disaster ensues. It’s chaos as Samantha battles with the washing machine…the ironing board…and attempts to cook a cordon bleu dinner. But gradually, she falls in love with her new life in a wholly unexpected way.
Will her employers ever discover the truth? Will Samantha’s old life ever catch up with her? And if it does…will she want it back?
Your mind knows only some things. Your inner voice, your instinct knows everything. If you listen to what you know instinctively, it will always lead you down the right path.Henry Winkler
Indeed, our inner voice aka our heart knows the best. That is because at the end of the day the heart is where our soul lies, unfazed yet bundled up coyly, waiting to be called for and heard. The decisions we make in life might be a result of our experiences or choices but seldom comes an instance when we see a coming-of-age confluence where these choices cater to our inner voice. The Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella is a title that explores and mulls upon the importance of such choices and how it is important to achieve the true synchronicity of the heart and the mind as far as such choices are concerned. In this book review, we at Booxoul wish to attempt to explore those facets of this fabulous, one of a kind title that is real and will make you laugh and cry in wonder at the amazing portrayal of human nature and choices throughout. Teens for one, according to me should be one of those for whom this one is a must-read.
Samantha Sweeting is a super workaholic who is simply driven and consumed by her career. Nothing, not even the fact that her personal life has become beyond non-existent can get her out of the unending abyss of a blind drive she seems to be following to upswing her professional target and fly high. Result? No personal downtime, zero family life, absolutely no place for emotions.
What ensues next is an expected utter meltdown, with her running amok and landing in the middle of nowhere. As the people in the house where she decides to hold up for the night have mistaken her for a hired, professional housekeeper, she decides to go along with that ruse for the time being to cool off a bit. Wait, what? Samantha Sweeting, youngest prospective partner at the prestigious law firm Carter Spink and household chores? With an IQ touted to beat the best in the world, unfortunately, this little sweetie of ours is as adept at handling these chores as you and I might be in handling leopards perhaps!
Then there are her “masters” -aka the people who hire her for this one namely Trish and Eddie Geiger, each carved with a personality to leave you in warm splits (yeah they have a fat tosh of attitude yet they have their heart in the right place, you know!). Not to forget the adoring Nathaniel AKA Nat with whom Samantha finds love at last. Also, a special mention to Iris, Nathaniel’s mom for helping bring the true living, breathing Samantha out from the clutches of that 6 minutes classifying, power-hungry semi-robotic kind of an AI she was earlier.
Yes, AI I’d say coz our Samantha earlier was just career-driven and power crazy. With zero time for anything even as simple as learning to cook up a basic meal (she claimed the Geigers of cordon bleu you know!) to doing basic laundry, she was practically less than a novice (like literally minus, peeps!).
Not to forget the fact that an equally over career-oriented parent and sibling made matters worse as Samantha literally forgot about love and the delicate emotions we all experience and bask in during our daily course of lives, be it celebrating a birthday or baking a cake or even sewing a button on a shirt. Yes, she actually forgot to live!
Exactly my point why it is important for the teens to be reading this one. Sophie through this particular book, for me at least has gone beyond the norms of regular chick lit which is her speciality. As a parent, we all want to ensure that our next generation aka our teens are not only focused and goal-driven as far as their careers are concerned they also maintain the correct balance as far as their emotional, as well as the overall wholistic well being, is concerned. Today, we want to bring up such individuals who live a successful and accomplished life and also live it in a manner that they not only live it wholly but also ensure that there is a good quality attached to it as far as holistic fulfilment is concerned.
A superb engineer from one of the most prestigious institutes is not what should be the only focus. Rather, we as parents to teens of today also have to ensure that whilst achieving these remarkable feats we do not lose the real “person” within them along the way and there is a perfect equilibrium in the work-personal life equation as well as an ideal confluence merging all aspects in a manner where the teens strive to achieve what they wish to wholeheartedly, but at the same time with proper love, support and guidance from their families which is the most important facet of all in any one’s life.
Amidst trying to achieve staggeringly huge targets in life, sometimes somewhere our teens surely get pressurized, tending to lose focus, getting withdrawn or simply cut off from life. That is where one needs to step in, either as parents, friends, mentors, colleagues or any angel benefactor and help smoothen out this synchronicity of emotions and life.
So, coming back to the book. Starting with Samantha who is the main star (and with whom practically all will identify at some point in time), I’d say one helluva character. The complete manner in which Sophie has enlisted her highs, whilst subtly highlighting the lows in her life is remarkable. Samantha is the ideal personification of the teens and also elders of Gen X who only identify life between figures and forget to distinguish between emotions like love and heartbreak after a point in life, leading to burnout eventually. Sophie has put it across with stark clarity the message while giving the book a warm, tickling kind of vibe (the Geigers you know!). The instances where Samantha is trying to ‘settle’ in her new role are hilarious and make up for an entertaining read which is also one more reason I would put this one down as a perfect summer read. The character of Iris deserves a special mention because for me at least her words were what strike the real gold in the narrative. The way she advises, nurtures, nudges and eventually mentors Samantha is surely a high point of the book.
The characters, the plot the story all are captivating to the point that they will eventually spill themselves off the cover, entering your lives in a manner you never expected, settling their ideologies with a thump upon you, making you understand the true essence of prioritizing your life and the emotional viability attached to it and also giving you the realization that we eventually become the choices we choose. So choose better, be more humane and yes breathe !! live, love, laugh and work. Repeat. Now read that again you teens! That is your mantra for life yeah! And give life your best shot. Coz it’s YOLO(You live only once) for all you know!
And yes, just let all go!
So hope you liked this little musing cum review of The Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella. Do let us know what other blogs you would like us to bring for you, only here at Booxoul, India’s best book review and lifestyle blog.
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