The Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella

The Undomestic Goddess

Workaholic attorney Samantha Sweeting has just done the unthinkable. She’s made a mistake so huge, it’ll wreck any chance of a partnership. Going into utter meltdown, she walks out of her London office, gets on a train, and ends up in the middle of nowhere. Asking for directions at a big, beautiful house, she’s mistaken for an interviewee and finds herself being offered a...

Title:The Undomestic Goddess
Author:
Rating:
ISBN:0385338694
Edition Language:English
Number of Pages:404 pages

The Undomestic Goddess Reviews

  • Laura

    As you’d expect, the story is a sitcom come to life: a work-obsessed attorney loses her job in a dramatic way and then plunges alone into the countryside à la Jane Eyre, only to wind up being taken in as a housekeeper by some nouveau riche couple. The twist is. . . get ready. . . she doesn’t know how to cook! Or run a washing machine! You can imagine the hilarity. In fact, you have to imagine the hilarity, because there isn’t much written for you. That’s not to say the book isn’t entertaining. I

    As you’d expect, the story is a sitcom come to life: a work-obsessed attorney loses her job in a dramatic way and then plunges alone into the countryside à la Jane Eyre, only to wind up being taken in as a housekeeper by some nouveau riche couple. The twist is. . . get ready. . . she doesn’t know how to cook! Or run a washing machine! You can imagine the hilarity. In fact, you have to imagine the hilarity, because there isn’t much written for you. That’s not to say the book isn’t entertaining. It moves quickly, and it ends up validating the effort and skill involved in keeping house, which I liked. Plus I found the nouveau riche couple to be oddly engaging. (“Oddly” because they reminded me of Southern caricatures written by someone who didn’t know any actual Southerners and just created people out of stereotypes — like a hick couple who hits it big in the tire business and moves into a mansion but doesn’t know to lose the big hair and get grammar. Of course the characters in this book are English, as is the author, which goes to show that mediocrity knows no nationality.)

    The big flaw is that even though this kind of book is bound to be contrived, it still needs to retain some believability. I can buy stumbling onto the one house that would take in a stranger (we buy it in

    ), finding skulduggery at work, true love next door, and a host of other improbabilities because at least they’re possible. But our heroine, in disgrace at her law firm, googles herself and finds a million entries about how she’s become a national lawyer joke; at one point the tabloid press even starts following her “story”! The problem is that, in reality, lawyers show up on our radar only if we’ve hired them. A criminal defense attorney may have his day in the sun with a celebrity client, but other than that, who cares? Quick — name a contract attorney! Anyone?? How about any kind of attorney you don’t know personally? The fact is that nobody cares if a lawyer loses her firm a lot of money and then becomes a housekeeper; the whole public ignominy angle is too manufactured even for chick lit. It reminded me of

    , where a would-be fashion writer somehow becomes a national figure and then a national scandal. How??? It’s as though Sophie Kinsella is projecting some deep desire to be in the center of the public stage, holding the nation’s microphone tearfully in hand. (Actually, I wouldn’t mind that either, but only to rail on the government power grab and people who talk during movies.) I wonder if her “Oh no! The world is watching me during my moment of crisis!” fantasy was brought on by too much reality TV, or . . . more likely. . . if reality TV exists precisely because so many people do have this desire for public display? Chilling thought.

    At any rate, that’s probably not enough to condemn the book. It has its moments. And I think if it had been written differently I would have had patience for the more unrealistic aspects. However, the style was so aggressively breezy that it became wearisome. The author should have put more effort into creating a story that holds together and less time trying so desperately to be witty.

    Mercy — three paragraphs on a Costco paperback!

  • Sita

    This was the first Sophie Kinsella book I ever read and it will remain my favourite. My mum actually picked this up for me, because she liked the blurb on the back. She would never read this sort of book; she is into China Meavile, Dan Simmons and Stephen King. Not the sort of stuff I read... At first, I was hesitant, but I started reading this in the car on the way home and it was addictive. I just could not stop; this book is romantic, moving with just the right amount of funny (it had a f

    This was the first Sophie Kinsella book I ever read and it will remain my favourite. My mum actually picked this up for me, because she liked the blurb on the back. She would never read this sort of book; she is into China Meavile, Dan Simmons and Stephen King. Not the sort of stuff I read... At first, I was hesitant, but I started reading this in the car on the way home and it was addictive. I just could not stop; this book is romantic, moving with just the right amount of funny (it had a few of those major laugh out loud, cover mouth with fist moments).

    Overall, it was a really good read.

    9/10

    All just hilarious, even the ones I hated had some really funny lines. And the way Samantha talks about them. Priceless.

    7/10

    It’s chick-lit for goodness sake. It was easy to read and took no brain cells whatsoever.

    9/10

    Interesting, quite original, moves at the perfect pace with the perfect twists along the way. It has an ending that you would expect but not expect at the same time.

    Does that make sense? Oh well. Moving on...

    9/10

    A very fun read.

  • Megs ♥

    This story is about a 20-something, workaholic lawyer named Samantha. Sam leaves her job after making a huge mistake that costs her firm millions of dollars. She has put her whole life into this job, trying to become partner, and now it's over. She has a major meltdown, and ends up miles from home in the middle of nowhere working as a maid to a family that doesn't know anything about her true identity. She also doesn't know anything at all about being a maid as you can probably guess by the titl

    This story is about a 20-something, workaholic lawyer named Samantha. Sam leaves her job after making a huge mistake that costs her firm millions of dollars. She has put her whole life into this job, trying to become partner, and now it's over. She has a major meltdown, and ends up miles from home in the middle of nowhere working as a maid to a family that doesn't know anything about her true identity. She also doesn't know anything at all about being a maid as you can probably guess by the title. This makes for an interesting hilarious ride. At one point she has no idea how to use an iron and tells her boss that she can't figure it out because she's "far more used to working with a Nimbus 2000" These little comments pop up everywhere making the book fly by and making you really root for this poor girl who hasn't got a clue. A bit predictable, but I don't read her books thinking I'm going to be digging into a literary masterpiece. The romance was cute, but there really wasn't much of it. Nothing but fun and laughter all the way through.

    Sam was an extremely fun character to read about. She's funny, smart, and can really think quick on her feet. She shows genuine signs of maturity and growth throughout this quick read.

    I really liked how the ultimate message was delivered, though. In the end Sam has to take a look at her life and really figure out what is important, and what isn't. Perhaps you are putting too much effort into something that gives nothing back.

    This was my first book from Sophie Kinsella, but I will definitely read more of her books. Her humor is fresh, and if you go into this book solely expecting a light-hearted, fun read I think you will enjoy it.

    Recommended to all of Sohpie Kinsella's fans, and all chick-lit lovers. She is the queen of comedy!

    3.5/5 Stars

  • Dija

    After reading several books by Kinsella, the only major complaint I have is that the endings are extremely unsatisfying. She builds up the character development and story so,

    well, only to have it all end just shy of the perfect HEA. The first thought I usually have after finishing her books is, "Wait, what? That's

    ?"

    More than in Kinsella's other novels, this factor is impossible to ignore in

    . Samantha comes a long way from being a lawyer-zombie to a content housekee

    After reading several books by Kinsella, the only major complaint I have is that the endings are extremely unsatisfying. She builds up the character development and story so,

    well, only to have it all end just shy of the perfect HEA. The first thought I usually have after finishing her books is, "Wait, what? That's

    ?"

    More than in Kinsella's other novels, this factor is impossible to ignore in

    . Samantha comes a long way from being a lawyer-zombie to a content housekeeper, but that change isn't really explored as much as I would have expected. It's like as soon as SK decided she'd placed her characters exactly where she wanted, she lost all interest in finishing their story properly.

    In addition, Nathaniel should have played a bigger role in the book. Honestly, I felt a little cheated by the "romance". All the hints are there, but most of the scenes between the two MCs are simply skimmed over and told in retrospect.

    Overall, I liked reading

    , but I would have enjoyed it a lot more if there had been more story and less narration. This book doesn't leave any lasting impression, but it's still a fun read as long as you keep your hopes low.

    2.75/5 stars

  • Vina

    Excellent, funny, cute, sweet, romantic, fun...another great Kinsella book!

  • Ferdy

    The worst Kinsella book I've read so far, it wasn't totally awful but it was pretty bad. The story was even more far-fetched and the main character even more daft than the other Kinsella heroines combined. The heroine (Samantha) was meant to be an Oxbridge educated lawyer with years of experience in the best law firm in the country, yet somehow she read more like a grade A idiot. I don't know why authors bother giving their main characters high IQ's and super smart careers wh

    The worst Kinsella book I've read so far, it wasn't totally awful but it was pretty bad. The story was even more far-fetched and the main character even more daft than the other Kinsella heroines combined. The heroine (Samantha) was meant to be an Oxbridge educated lawyer with years of experience in the best law firm in the country, yet somehow she read more like a grade A idiot. I don't know why authors bother giving their main characters high IQ's and super smart careers when they can only portray them as complete thickos who can barely string a sentence together.

    -Really liked Trish and Eddie Geiger, they were such fun characters. I loved the way they bossed Samantha about and how they interacted with each other, they were pretty hilarious. I also quite liked Nathaniel, he was a normal, down to earth sort of guy instead of the usual rich, brooding, millionaire love interest.

    -How on earth do you accidentally become a housekeeper? Samantha lost her job at her law firm and took a random train to the middle of nowhere, she then knocked on a random house and acted weird and somehow that magically landed her a housekeeper job in a fancy mansion with a millionaire couple. Yea, right. She also got to stay in said mansion overnight after a two minute interview in which she acted like a nutter. Yea, because that seems likely.

    -Why would Samantha run away from her job? Sure, she thought she made a huge mistake costing her firm fifty million quid, but she was supposed to be a highly trained professional with years of education and training, and who worked well under high pressure and was ultra responsible and had a brilliant mind and work ethic. Yet she ran away like some sort of scared naive wet behind the ears idiot. Why would someone so hard working and responsible just ditch everything at the first sign of trouble? Why wouldn't she question everything? Why wouldn't she stay to investigate and defend herself? She worked all her life to be a top tier lawyer so why wouldn't she stay and fight for her career and reputation? It was all so nonsensical.

    -For a high flying lawyer Samantha sure was an idiot and a half. She couldn't follow basic recipes and cooking instructions without turning the kitchen into a bloody war zone. She even struggled with slicing bread and was unable to make a jam sandwich and hard boiled eggs (the silly cow put them in the microwave?!). She didn't even know how to iron without burning everything or wipe surfaces without making things worse. It was beyond ridiculous. Yes, not everyone knows how to cook well or do certain chores, but who the hell can't boil an egg or make a jam sandwich or wipe a surface?! I'm guessing Samantha's incompetence was meant to be funny or cute or something, but it was none of those things, it was plain stupid.

    -How was it Samantha was so unable to hold simple conversations? A top shot lawyer should at the very least be able to hold moderately intelligent conversations. Yet half the time Samantha just stuttered and mumbled and muttered her way through things.

    Also, when she found out she'd been set up at work and came across suspicious evidence that pointed to another colleague (Arnold) committing fraud, the silly cow couldn't confront him or make a convincing argument against him without looking like a demented psycho dumbo loser. She was meant to be a genius lawyer who regularly talked her way through all sorts of tricky situations and dealings yet when she confronted Arnold all she was capable of doing was stomping her feet and pouting, she did nothing to defend her reputation, she just talked rubbish. It didn't even occur to her to bring up the fact that Arnold had strong family connections to the company that took that 50 million. Ugh, she was the most unconvincing lawyer character in the fictional world ever.

    -Why was Samantha always yelling or mumbling or pouting? Would an experienced, professional lawyer really talk like that? I swear Samantha came across more like a belligerent child than anything else.

    -According to

    women can't have a glittering career and a fulfilling personal life at the same time. It's either one or the other.

    -So Samantha gave up her career and a chance of a lifetime to be a partner in a top law firm all so she could run off to Cornwall with a guy she'd known for a few months? I mean, she only worked her whole bloody life to achieve that level of success, it was her one ambition and dream but all that got thrown out the window because she was in lurve, and working as a lawyer was just too gosh darn difficult for her tiny woman brain. Ugh.

    If it hadn't been for the secondary characters, I don't think I would have been able to finish this. Even for a chick lit book, it was beyond ridiculous.

  • Zoë

    Sophie Kinsella strikes again! Although most of her books deal with both the professional world and relationships, she has managed to make every story unique and immensely entertaining. Although I didn't enjoy this novel quite as much as I've Got Your Number, it still immediately sucked me in and wouldn't let me stop reading until I finished. I think if I hadn't read this right after IGYN (my favorite book by her), I would have given it a full 5/5 stars, but blame Sophie Kinsella for making her

    Sophie Kinsella strikes again! Although most of her books deal with both the professional world and relationships, she has managed to make every story unique and immensely entertaining. Although I didn't enjoy this novel quite as much as I've Got Your Number, it still immediately sucked me in and wouldn't let me stop reading until I finished. I think if I hadn't read this right after IGYN (my favorite book by her), I would have given it a full 5/5 stars, but blame Sophie Kinsella for making her books like candy. I can't just read ONE and call it a day.

    As for the story, I loved how the main character, Samantha, was the high-powered career woman in the relationship instead of the man, which is seen in most of her other stories (although she does leave the job, but still). Also, Nathaniel was a total hunky dreamboat and I would like one for my own, please and thank you.

    All in all, I highly recommend it, just like all of her other novels.

  • Cait • A Page with a View

    I keep reading Sophie Kinsella books because they're such a light, fast read and everything's so upbeat. But I'm also starting to get annoyed at how the main characters LIE SO MUCH. Most of their problems would be gone if they could just

    . And the guys are always like "oh that's totally fine nbd" when everything comes out in the end.

    Samantha loses £50 million in her job as a lawyer, so she flees to the countryside and accidentally gets a job as a housekeeper. She somehow is unable

    I keep reading Sophie Kinsella books because they're such a light, fast read and everything's so upbeat. But I'm also starting to get annoyed at how the main characters LIE SO MUCH. Most of their problems would be gone if they could just

    . And the guys are always like "oh that's totally fine nbd" when everything comes out in the end.

    Samantha loses £50 million in her job as a lawyer, so she flees to the countryside and accidentally gets a job as a housekeeper. She somehow is unable to cook absolutely anything besides toast and can't do laundry or clean... so some funny scenes ensue as she tries to cover her lies. She meets a cute guy and lets him believe she's fleeing an abusive relationship (WHY why omg why is the truth so hard) and both of her worlds eventually collide.

    The only character I really loved was the guy's mother who taught Samantha to cook. Otherwise I wasn't super into the story, but it was still all very

    .


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