Antof9's Reviews > I Don't Know How She Does It: The Life of Kate Reddy, Working Mother

I Don't Know How She Does It by Allison Pearson
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's review
Jan 02, 2009

liked it
bookshelves: depressing, chicklit, 2005-read, women, trashy-is-as-trashy-does, made-me-cry
Read in May, 2005

What to say? I really liked this book, but I also found it kind of sad. I was trying to think of how to describe it, and realized that it reminded me a lot of how I felt about The Nanny Diaries. Funny chick lit, but with a very heavy twist, these two books made me sad for the reality they represent. In fact, I was trying to think of a working mom to send it to when I was done, but as I kept reading, I feared that it would make them depressed!

I really liked parts of this book and disliked others. All the stuff this working mom had to do made me nervous! There were also many times I thought, "wait -- when did she pack for that trip?" or "when did she get her clothes from the dry cleaners?" It seemed as if those were convenient details when they were needed to illustrate all the things she needed to do, but when not germaine to the story, they were conveniently glossed over!

I liked that she was so good at her job, and I liked her honesty about the boys' club at work. No one in the pc-crazy U.S. would say most of the stuff she said, and I found it refreshing. In addition, I work in the financial industry, so parts of that were recognizable too.

I loved the biodegradable nappy! That's all I'm saying.


Who would have thought that in the midddle of a lite piece of semi-trashy chick lit you'd find one of the most beautiful, moving tributes ever? Chapter 26, Death of a Mother, is just touching. It's lyrical and heart-wrenching. And I loved it. I just re-read it, two weeks later, and it still brought tears to my eyes. I guess I can't re-type the whole chapter, so I'll just put here the end, which is really touching. ". . . I look away quickly and with washed eyes focus on the headstones all around us. DEVOTED SON. FATHER AND GRANDFATHER. PRECIOUS ONLY CHILD OF. BELOVED WIFE AND MOTHER. SISTER. WIFE. MOTHER. MOTHER. In death, we are not defined by what we did or who we were but by what we meant to others. How well we loved and were loved in return."

Something that really touched me was a comment about a gravesite. Because my dad's birthday was just a few weeks ago and I really wanted to go to the cemetery, but didn't have time, this particularly resonated with me: "Weird, isn't it, how you want to seek out the physical place where someone is buried? If Jill is anywhere, now, she's everywhere." I love what was on her headstone: "SHE WAS WELL LOVED".

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