Sophie Kinsella is the author of the bestselling Shopaholic series,
as well as The Undomestic Goddess
You Keep a Secret?
She lives in England.
1. How would you have responded to the questions that introduce
Chapter One? Have you ever been accused of being addicted to
stress? What''s the difference between having a busy life and being
2. How did the office politics at Carter Spink compare to your
experience in the world of work? Who is the Ketterman in your life,
dropping huge, last-minute projects on your desk?
3. What accounts for the different lives led by Samantha and her
childhood friend, Freya? What fun and essential roles does Freya
play in Samantha''s life?
4. Before Samantha leaves London, what are her highest
expectations regarding love? Was there anything appealing about
six-minute sex with Jacob? What stokes her attraction to Guy?
5. Samantha wistfully adores "The Waltons." Why is her family so
different from the one depicted in that show? What does the ideal
family look like in the twenty-first century?
6. Discuss the debate between Samantha and Mrs. Farley at the
end of Chapter Three. Is sewing on a button a valuable skill, or at
least as valuable as Mrs. Farley says it is? What are the most
valuable skills for women to master?
7. Samantha describes the disorder of her desk-and her life-that
made her vulnerable to the alleged registration mistake. What did
her clutter indicate about her state of mind at that time?
8. With her uncanny knack for numbers and her fiercely
competitive streak, Samantha was a natural for corporate law. Was
she also a natural domestic goddess, even though the basic
instruction had been withheld from her as she grew up? Does Melissa
have what it takes to succeed in law?
9. What do Nathaniel''s and Samantha''s histories have in
common? What makes them an unlikely couple, yet a perfect couple?
How do they gradually learn to trust each other?
10. Are Trish and Eddie good bosses? Would you want to work for
11. At times, Samantha suffers from a sort of withdrawal after
leaving Carter Spink. What is the equivalent of Carter Spink in
your life-the community or organization without which you would
feel empty? Have you ever had to face the prospect of losing that
connection? What alternative plan would you come up with, as
Samantha stumbled into the Geiger plan?
12. Chapter Sixteen describes the experience of Iris''s kitchen
and Samantha''s awakening to simple, natural miracles such as
rising bread. What healing perspective does Iris impart to
13. Much to her horror, Samantha is hounded by the media for
sound bites and pursued by advertisers to become an icon for
products. Do the headlines in Chapter Twenty-four raise any
real-life issues? Do women and men face identical challenges in the
modern corporate world?
14. Which of the novel''s scenes kept you on the edge of your
seat the longest? Could you have maintained a false identity for as
long as Samantha did? Would you have gone back to work for Carter
15. What do you predict for Samantha and Nathaniel''s