The Undomestic Goddess

Mass Market Paperback | October 30, 2007

bySophie Kinsella

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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 job as housekeeper. Her employers have no idea they’ve hired a lawyer—and Samantha has no idea how to work the oven. She can’t sew on a button, bake a potato, or get the #@%# ironing board to open. How she takes a deep breath and begins to cope—and finds love—is a story as delicious as the bread she learns to bake. But will her old life ever catch up with her? And if it does…will she want it back?

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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 intervie...

Sophie Kinsella is the author of the bestselling Shopaholic series, as well as The Undomestic Goddess and Can You Keep a Secret? She lives in England.

other books by Sophie Kinsella

Finding Audrey
Finding Audrey

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My Not So Perfect Life: A Novel
My Not So Perfect Life: A Novel

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Shopaholic To The Rescue: A Novel
Shopaholic To The Rescue: A Novel

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see all books by Sophie Kinsella
Format:Mass Market PaperbackDimensions:432 pages, 6.88 × 4.17 × 1.17 inPublished:October 30, 2007Publisher:Random House Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:044024238X

ISBN - 13:9780440242383

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Hilarious ! Another great book by Sophie Kinsella, can always be guaranteed a laugh
Date published: 2015-09-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good read Good read, took me while to get into it but once I did I couldn't put in down. It's not cheesy, very realistic
Date published: 2015-04-02
Rated 3 out of 5 by from I liked it I wasn't planning on reading this book. It didn't sound awful, I just had other priority titles on my TBR list. But somebody gave me a copy and I figured, why not? This is light, easy to read chicklit. That part I was expecting. What I wasn't expecting was to actually learn something from this story. Our heroine, Samantha Sweeting, loses the only thing she has ever wanted - partnership at a major London law firm - and winds up in the middle of nowhere taking a job as a housekeeper. A job she has no idea how to do. If it were me, and I lost the only thing I ever wanted in the entire world, I would probably have a nervous breakdown. But Samantha fakes it until she makes it. Of course, hilarity ensues, but ultimately, this is a touching story. This book is about resilience. It's about getting up again after you've been knocked down. It's about not whining when things don't go your way; about being in control of your own destiny. A lot can be learned from Samantha Sweeting. It may sound a little like I'm over-selling it here. Don't get me wrong, it's fluff. It's not a great work of literary fiction. But it's not a bad way to kill a couple hours. It's a book to read simply to be entertained.
Date published: 2014-08-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from ... We only live once! Make the most out of it!
Date published: 2014-04-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Good read I couldn't put down the book. A leisurely read to take my mind of work.
Date published: 2013-10-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Good read So Funny and creative. A great novel to curl up with.
Date published: 2013-10-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Lots of Laughs Such a fun book to read. Exremely hilarious and a total chic book. The main character, Samantha, is a lot of fun and makes you laugh constantly. Fantastic writing - a must read.
Date published: 2012-05-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from cute and entertaining very cute story that was entertaining from start to finish. This was the first book I read by Sophie Kinsella and it was a great introduction to her stories. Very easy and enjoyable read.
Date published: 2012-05-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great! Just a great book. A light and fun read.
Date published: 2012-05-11
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A Sweet Ending My interest for this novel kept changing. I would either be liking the novel or else I would be disliking the novel. For the majority of the beginning, I found the novel dragging on. After I hit the mid-ending portion of the novel my interest picked up. The characters were enjoyable to read, but compared with Sophie Kinsella’s other novels this was my least favorite.
Date published: 2012-02-28
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Easy read. Light and easy. Uncomplicated "feel good" book for the beach.
Date published: 2011-12-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Enjoyed! Made me rediscover the passion of reading! I was unable to stop reading . Wanted to read it all non stop!
Date published: 2011-09-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Pretty Good I really liked Undomestic Goddess, up until three quarters of the way in. I thought it was very entertaining, but towards the end it started to drag. I feel as though the book ended about four times. The ending aside, I really enjoyed this book. I recommend it if you're looking for a nice distraction.
Date published: 2011-05-23
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Nice Read Although this is also not one of her best books its still a pretty decent read. I'm sometimes a fan of completely running away from your problems and starting over knew but there wasn't as much adventure as their usually is in some of Kinsella's bests.
Date published: 2011-05-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very Good I really enjoyed this book. I found that it kept my interest the entire way. My problem was that I fell in love with some of the characters and found that the ending did not answer some of my questions. Still worth a read, as many people might love the ending, definitely depends on the reader, and most definitely worth reading.
Date published: 2010-07-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very interesting story!!! The undomestic goddess goes through a major change in her life.Vey much enjoyed going through this adventure with her.
Date published: 2010-04-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Cute & improbable This was a sweet little distraction. Like most of Kinsella's novels, it was a departure from what was plausible, and thoroughly entertaining throughout. Samantha's book-smart legal brilliance and ensuing domestic debacles were amusing. I would recommend this book as a pool-side vacation read. It's not going to move you; but it will make you smile.
Date published: 2010-03-12
Rated 3 out of 5 by from It had its moments! It was ok but definitely had the potential to become a better book.
Date published: 2009-09-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Another good one The Undomestic Goddess is another fun and silly book by Sophie Kinsella. While the Shopaholic series are by far my favourites, Sophie Kinsella fans will not be disappointed by this book.
Date published: 2009-05-24
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Not Her Best. Sophie Kinsella is slowly becoming one of my favourite authors. Her characters are likeable and interesting, and I love the way she writes. Shopaholic and Remember Me are among my favourite books. I picked this one up simply because it was by her. It's not the best thing she's written, by far. However, it's still a Kinsella book, and delivers. It reads fast, has good characters and a good storyline. It's chick lit, so don't expect literary genius in here. It's not another shopaholic, but it's funny and kept my attention.
Date published: 2009-02-24
Rated 3 out of 5 by from overall okay book this book was okay... not one of my favourites from this author but overall it was a good read. It was hard in the begining, I felt it didnt grab my attension right away but after a couple of chapters it started to pick up.
Date published: 2009-02-10
Rated 3 out of 5 by from An Undomestic Chuckle Undomestic Goddess has its moments, but is definitely not my top Kinsella read by far! A lawyer turned housekeeper overnight, who doesn't even know how to sew a button or iron - Samantha Sweeting enters a whole new world. From Starbucks and Blackberrys to cooking and cleaning. A funny, light read.
Date published: 2008-11-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Happy go lucky It had a happy underlying message of loving your life ; whether it was quiting your crazy high powered job as a lawyer & taking up a job when you know you dont have the necessary credentials. A nice light read.
Date published: 2008-11-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great light read This is my favourite Kinsella book yet. I find the Shopaholic series funny, but the character gets rather frustrating as she keeps repeating the same mistakes. The heroine of this book is quite different, more likeable and easier to sympathise with. One reviewer compared Kinsella to Danielle Steele - I could not agree less!!! Steele's books are written in such simple, bland, unimaginative language, that I would not read another one even if I were trapped on a desert island. Kinsella writes with humour, a fine eye for detail, and a good knowledge of her craft, even if what she is writing is fluff. This is an engaging and fun light read.
Date published: 2008-09-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good Laugh This book is great for a laugh! Don't expect to wow your mind but really nice to sit back and read for FUN!
Date published: 2008-07-06
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Predictable, but cute I've read most of Kinsella's books, so the ending was no surprise. This is a fast read, and the story isn't very deep, but it will still make you laugh. A great book to read if you're looking for something short with a positive outlook.
Date published: 2008-06-14
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Predictable, but entertaining I've read so many of Sophie Kinsella's novels that it was easy to picture the ending already: the heroine sets off with her handsome boyfriend and they live happily ever after. The romance is so typical that I know the author could have done a better job. The premise is interesting, as always: a tired lawyer, ready as ever to quit her job, accidentally finds a job as a housekeeper and realizes how great the simple life is. It's almost like a Lauren Weisberger novel turned inside out.
Date published: 2008-05-31
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Crazy and Fun!! There’s no other way to begin this, except to say that The Undomestic Goddess was thoroughly entertaining. Sophie Kinsella has given us another character to love. Unlike the outrageous Becky Bloomwood, we have the indomitable Samantha Sweeting. Samantha is very responsible and career focused. Shopping is likely the last thing on this young woman’s mind. What happens to her is not her fault. She copes with the situation as best she can. Though she has a mini-breakdown, becoming The Undomestic Goddess is the best thing for her. At first, one might get the impression that Sophie Kinsella (aka Madeleine Wickham) is advocating the domestic side of women versus the career driven. As funny and wonderfully entertaining as this novel is, at the heart of it, I think, is the search for balance. There are men and women both, who become obsessed by career. Samantha was only 29 and she was obsessed by work. She’s never had a real relationship and hadn’t been on a vacation in seven years. As Iris, the wise matron said, you only get your youth once. Do you really want to waste it in office buildings? Do you want to be the sort of person who doesn’t even bother to look out the window? I think career is important. You need goals and a way to support yourself. Yet, you need to make sure that it’s something that’s going to make you happy in the long term. Fine, you want to be a lawyer, be “a full equity partner,” but you need to be sure that in this lies your happiness and future. Samantha never thought beyond making partner. She never though beyond work. In the end, she discovered that she wanted to look out windows and have weekends off. She wanted balance.
Date published: 2008-05-13
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Where's the Fast Forward? I pretty much agree with another reviewer: the book starts off okay, then drags along. This is where I start skimming the pages looking for substance and finding none. SK's books are becoming too predictable. What's her name - Danielle Steel's books are like that - very predictable like it's written on the same template. Different names; same plot line. This book is good for a couple of light chuckles but no hardy laughter.
Date published: 2008-03-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Another hit! I've read all Sophie Kinsella's books and this is one of my faves! It's another one that I just couldn't tear myself away from.
Date published: 2008-03-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Another great laugh I truly enjoyed this light read by Kinsella. Although not quite as fast paced as her Shopaholic series. It took a few chapters for me to get into the book, and I agree with other reviews that it runs a movie as you read. I definatly recommend this read for any Chick Lit list or Kinsella fan.
Date published: 2008-02-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of my Favorite Books of all time!! This was one of my favorite reads of all time! It is so witty and entertaining. I think that they should make this book into a movie!! It has an amazing story line and a cute happily-ever-after ending. I have re-read this book several times and highly recommend it!!
Date published: 2008-02-14
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Not a Shop-a-holic While "Undomestic Goddess" did have a few laugh out loud funny parts, I was expecting more. After reading the Shop-a-holic books I expected this book to be just as entertaining. I felt that there were a lot of parts of this book that seemed to drag on. At times it seemed that I had read so many pages but not a lot had happened. The novel picked up more towards the end. Overall it was an okay book, but definately not up to shop-a-holic standards.
Date published: 2008-02-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great light read! I would definately recommend this book if you enjoyed the Shopaholic series. Definately entertaining and amusing!
Date published: 2008-02-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Another Fun One I really enjoy reading anything from Sophie Kinsella, I love her sense of humour. I liked this one cause you delve into our domestic goddess and remember when we all started cooking, cleaning anf doing laundry for the first ime. I am looking forward to her new book Remember me.
Date published: 2008-01-31
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Meh.. This book was a good read if you're looking for something light and entertaining. It had its moments that I wasn't a fan of but all in all it was a good read.
Date published: 2008-01-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very Funny! This is by far my favorite of Sophie Kinsella's books and I have read them all. From the first page to the last page this book had me laughing out loud. It's a light, funny read with a summer romance thrown in on the side.
Date published: 2008-01-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of Kinsella's best A light, fun and fabulous read. A great way to spend an afternoon. Find your favourite spot and immerse yourself in a romantic comedy that will be hard to put down. Kinsella's characters are charming.
Date published: 2008-01-16
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Enjoyable light read If you're a fan of Sophie Kinsella's Shopaholic novels, then you'll enjoy "The Undomestic Goddess". I found the main character of lawyer Samantha Sweeting to be a bit more identifiable than that of Shopaholic's Becky Bloomwood, but at times, her antics had me rolling my eyes in disbelief. The ending dragged on a bit too long, but overall a fun read!
Date published: 2008-01-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from surprisingly good i bought this book to read over my christmas break from school... ya know, a light read. it took a few chapters to get into it -- but surprisingly became almost addictive. it delivered just as i hoped it would; a nice light read with some good humor and a hunk. some parts reminded me of bridget jones' diary.
Date published: 2008-01-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from EXCELLENT READ!!! Loved this book! It was hard to put it down. Not only the best Kinsella book to date but one of the better "girly" books I have read in a while! Worth a read for sure!
Date published: 2007-12-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from TOO FUNNY!!! This book is absolutely hilarious! I was laughing and giggling to myself on the subway! Its laugh out loud funny. Better than Can You Keep a Secret?! This is THE BEST Sophie Kinsella book to date! You have to read it! It will be difficult finding books as funny as this one now. Loved it!!!
Date published: 2007-10-14
Rated 2 out of 5 by from A Little Too Predictable I enjoy a good "fluff" read as much as the next person, but this was a little too light hearted. At first I was drawn into Samantha's world and found her adventures amusing. However, as the book plods along I found myself skimming over pages, thinking to myself "yadda, yadda, yadda". It seemed as though this was a fill-in-the-blank type of book following a very common template. Successful career girl down on her luck meets hunky gardiner (who is smart, business savvy, a great lover, a great listener....) a series of amusing mis-understandings and voila, the story ends on an utterly unbelievable high note. If you are looking for something to take to the beach - this is it. If you are looking for anything more than entertainment, than this might not be the best choice. Nonetheless, Kinsella knows how to write FUN.
Date published: 2007-07-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Great Summer Read This is the first book I have read of Sophie Kinsella's. I could not put it down... It was a fun read. I am now reading the Shopaholic books, they are just as fun. As much as she makes you frustrated with the main character she also writes in such a way that you are also on her side at the same time!
Date published: 2006-12-31
Rated 4 out of 5 by from An Amazing Read I read this book during the summer, and I absolutely loved it. It is easy to read, and it never gets dull. The problems she gets herself into, make it hard to put down. I've read all of Sophie Kinsella's books, and I love them all. Definitely a great read.
Date published: 2006-11-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Beach Read I read this book on the beach and thoroughly enjoyed it. Sophie Kinsella does not disappoint. It was a light hearted, funny chic lit. I must make a note however, that the scene in the garden was HOT!!
Date published: 2006-09-13
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A light, fun read! Another great book by Sophie Kinsella! Fun and easy to read, this book will keep you amused and can relate to most women who want to fall in love and find happiness!
Date published: 2006-08-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A great novel I have read all of Sophie Kinsella's books and I love them all. This book is very funny and it is an easy read for everyone. A must read for all.
Date published: 2006-08-02
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Easy summertime read This is the first book I have read by Sophie Kinsella. It was less than believable that a bigtime lawyer would turn into a housekeeper--who can't make ice cubes one day, and with only a few cooking lessons can turn herself into a chef. If you are looking for a light easy read this book is for you, if you want something with substance--look elsewhere.
Date published: 2006-07-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Two Thumbs Way Up! Delightfully charming and wonderfully funny, Sophie Kinsella delivers a heart-warming story about a big-time lawyer who is in desperate need of a change of lifestyle, but doesn't realize it until the unthinkable happens. This book is a true testament that when you put your heart into it, you can be anything you want. It'll have you laughing from beginning to end. I couldn't put it down!
Date published: 2006-07-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from another good reading! this is my first Sophie Kinsella novel. I picked it up at Chapters at random, back then, I was havin no idea who Sophie Kinsella is, (I know I was kinda of out of date), I barely read anything other than my textbook. and after I started reading it, I thought "wow, I should have start gettin a habit of reading". while I was readin it, all of the sudden out of no where I realized why ppl always say reading makes a full man : ) the way the author writes is very interesting, and it kinda of creates an invisible magnetic field makes ppl want to read more. and more. its a very irresistible reading once you started it. and I don't think its fair for me to tell the others the story line, such a well-plotted novel should have the readers to read themselves and to be surprised by all the details. after I'm done with this novel, I bought all the other novels by Sophie. which turned out all of her novels are light reading and very interesting! I cannot say which one gets the lower rate and which one deserves the higher rating. because all of her novels are good! modern, realistic, full of surprise, up-to-dated info, ... which most of the things happened in the story can easily happen to any one of us in the real world. especially a shopaholic like me!!
Date published: 2006-07-26
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A Fun Read I was slightly disappointed with " The Undomestic Goddess". It is not one of Sophie Kinsella's best books, though still enjoyable. I found it more difficult to relate to the lead character of this novel , where other Kinsella heroine's are so easily related to.. Likewise, the story itself - big city lawyer turns housekeeper, is a bit harder to swallow as plausible plot.
Date published: 2006-07-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from good laugh aloud read Good Laugh out loud book, better than the hapless compulsive spender of the shopaholic series!
Date published: 2006-07-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Hilarious! This book made me laugh out loud! It was one of the best books I've read in years ... Kinsella's quick wit & sarcastic sense of humour kept me turning the pages for more! A must read for those who want a laugh with a little romance on the side!
Date published: 2006-07-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from loved it ! This book was a definite page turner. An amazing summer Read !!
Date published: 2006-07-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Outstanding Read! I was unsure if I would ever find a light summer read. Then came along this priceless fiction that had me awake during the night eagerly reading the next page, and the next, and so on. You know a book is great when you morn the finishing of it. That is exactly what this book did. I immediately went to out to purchase more of Kinsella's work i.e the Shopaholic series. I can tell by the reviews, it's going to be a summer of sleep deprivation! I give The Undomestic Goddess 5 leafs out of 5 (so run out to get it right away before others find it too).
Date published: 2006-07-09
Rated 3 out of 5 by from "lite" reading at its best! This was a fun indulgence, very light, and a perfect summer read. Sophie Kinsella can create a character that all women can relate to in some way or another. I liked that Samantha Sweeting wasn't as flakey as Rebecca Bloomwood from the Shopaholic if only I can find myself a gardener :)
Date published: 2006-07-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from An Awesome Page-Turner This book was like a breath of fresh air for me. It was light, breezy, fresh and full of girl humour! This fast-tracking young lawyer-girl was totally likeable. I'd love to say more, but my best recommendation is to simply read it. You won't be able to put it down!
Date published: 2006-07-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fun to read! I found this book to be a wonderful no brainer book to read. I really enjoyed the main character of this book! I can't wait to read the next one.
Date published: 2006-07-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Candy for your brain Fun, fun, fun. So nice to be able to slip into another persons life where you know everything is going to turn out well in the end. I love all her novels!
Date published: 2006-06-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Hilarious! This book is absolutely hilarious! The main character is easy to relate to. I couldn't put it down!
Date published: 2006-06-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Even my husband read it!! This book of Sophie Kinsella's I highly recommend. I have read all of her books but one in the last year and they are something you just can't put down. The Undomestic Goddess is the best one yet I have read. The character is totally believable and you feel like you are in the book. Even my husband read it and really enjoyed it and he is a science ficition lover. I am really dreading when I have read all of her books because what am I going to do then? So, please, Sophie, write some more.
Date published: 2006-06-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent!!!! I loved this was a very refreshing read and I could not put it down!!! Now Im trying to find something just like it and I dont know where to start!!! I highly recommend this book if you just want a light refreshing read.
Date published: 2006-06-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from hilarious I really enjoyed this book. I couldn't put it down. It was hilarious. I'm going to read more of Sophie Kinsella's books.
Date published: 2006-06-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fun, Light, Easy to read.. I LOVED "The Undomestic Goddess"! As usual with Kinsella's books, the main character is easy to relate to, and the supporting characters are hilarious!! Once I started reading this book, I couldn't put it down and read the whole thing in a night. This book is a wonderful summer read and will definately put a smile on your face!! I strongly recommend this book!!
Date published: 2006-06-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Laugh Out Loud Funny Undomestic Goddess is laugh out loud funny. We can all relate on some level to wanting to give up the hurriedness of life and take things at our own pace but she actually does it. The predicaments Samantha gets into are unbelievable and humorous making this one of the best reads ever.
Date published: 2006-06-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Book I loved this book, I couldn't put it down it was hilarious!!
Date published: 2006-06-13
Rated 2 out of 5 by from the undomestic what?? This book wasn't one of the best I have ever read. Sophie Kinsella is one of the best authors I have let myself indulge with she is a very light hearted author. She got me back into the reading mode. But for some reason this book I found very drawn out it wasn't until the last few chapters that I found myself intrigued with it and could not put it down.. Love your stuff can't wait for some new material.
Date published: 2006-06-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great read for the beach This book won't have you on the edge of your seat, but those of us grappling with the career vs. family or career vs. kids dilemma will appreciate it. I actually liked this book better than Kinsella's "Can you keep a Secret." I laughed out loud at a few parts and it is nice to imagine Nathaniel. :) Enjoy!
Date published: 2006-06-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great book for those who love- Shopaholic series I read this book shortly after I finished the Shopaholic series and I loved it!!! Anyone who enjoyed reading about the mis-adventuers of Becky will love reading about Samantha.
Date published: 2006-06-09
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Would make great chick flick! This is a very humorous, delightful book. It is perfect for those times when you need a light read that has no other purpose but to entertain you!
Date published: 2006-06-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fantastic! Kinsella captures you in yet another fantastic book. I couldn't put it down, and as someone who isn't an avid reading that's great :) Definitely worth reading. You won't be dissapointed.
Date published: 2006-06-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I read this book in less than 24 hours This book is classic Sophie Kinsella - purely addictive, fun and impossible to put down. It has all the elements of a great chick lit book: it's romantic, funny, the main characters (most of them anyway) are smart and it's very witty. A great read!
Date published: 2006-06-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Funny as usual! In "The Undomestic Goddess", Sophie Kinsella provides us with her usual witty dialouge. I couldn't put this book down and read it in one sitting! If you love the Shopoholic series, you will love this book!
Date published: 2006-06-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Funny and Addictive! This is the first Sophie Kinsella book I have read and I couldn’t put it down! If you’re looking for a light and funny summer read, this is it. I laughed, Icried … I can’t wait to read her other books!
Date published: 2006-06-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fun Read As an avid Kinsella fan I was eagerly awaiting the arrival of her new book. This one was cute and fun to read, although I found it was a bit slower than her other novels to grip me into a must-finish-frenzy. I was however pleasantly surprised to find out that the ending was not the easily predictable one that it appeared to be heading towards... the ending actually left me wanting more, and wanting to find out what exactly happening to Samatha Sweeting. All in all, a good book - just not as fantastic as Kinsella's previous ones.
Date published: 2006-06-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Crazy Good!!! I loved this book so much, it was laugh-out-loud funny, romantic, and it made me cry!!! I f you were a fan of the "Shopaholic" series then you will love this one!!! I could barely put it down!!! And anyone who did'nt like this book must be crazy and are in no way a Sophie Kinsella fan, because this is one of her best books!!!
Date published: 2006-06-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Laugh out loud funny!!! Sophia Kinsella makes me laugh. Her characters get into crazy snafus - and bail themselves out in a highly original manner. I love a book that makes me chuckle - and Undomestic Goddess certainly does that! Through all the laughter and impossible scenarios is a tiny nugget of truth; we women let ourselves get roped into things in fear of looking "silly" and like many women, the character in this book struggles through and succeeds!!!!!
Date published: 2006-06-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A great, quick, light-hearted read I really enjoyed reading this book. It was light-hearted reading with plenty of cute parts to make me laugh out loud. I have recommended it to everyone I know who likes to read.
Date published: 2006-06-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from quick and funny As always, Sophie Kinsella did not disappoint. This book was enjoyable and funny. I've always been a fan of hers and read the entire book in one sitting because I was unable to put it down. A great summer read and I cannot wait to read her next one.
Date published: 2006-05-31
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Summer Read! Very relaxing book to read, with witty sarcsam! Absolute beach book! Great Summer Read
Date published: 2006-05-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome This book was on of the best I've ever read ! The caracters were very interesting and fun loving. I could not put in down.
Date published: 2006-05-31
Rated 4 out of 5 by from fun read ! What a great read ! It was a laugh out loud book that I couldn't put down. As with all of Sophie Kinsella's books, its a fun, easy read - good summer reading. Her descriptions and details are great and the book leaves you wanting more. I cannot wait for her next release !
Date published: 2006-05-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Two thumbs up! I love this book! It's full of humour with a little bit of romance. A must read book for chick lit lovers.
Date published: 2006-05-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Couldn't Put it down This is one of Sophie Kinsella's best books. I was hooked from page 1. I was drawn to the main character and all her little things that she does. The book kept me wanting more and more. I think there's a little of Samatha in all of us. I thought it was a light book good for a summer read. I would read it again. Anything by Sophie Kinsella is a good and funny read.
Date published: 2006-05-30
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Fun bubble gum reading I very much enjoyed this book as it was a nice break from work-related reading. This is the type of book I would recommend to someone who wants something quick and fun, without alot of thought. It can make you think about how hard you work and how often you stop to smell the roses.
Date published: 2006-05-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fantastically Fluffy Admittedly, this book is not "literature" but let's face it - no one would expect that from Sophie Kinsella. I wasn't a huge fan of the Shopaholic series but The Undomestic Goddess was fantastically fluffy, although, it's not as good as "Can You Keep a Secret". It's a great weekend read full of crazy exploits and a delicious, albeit unrealistic, love plot.
Date published: 2006-05-23
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Forgot to bring another book, so I'm stuck with th As a big Sophie Kinsella fan, I am suprisingly dissapointed with the book. I find it not as humorous or entertaining as her other books. I feel like I am forced to read it because I didn't bring anything else to read on our camping trip. I seriously hope that this is just something that she has to do while brainstorming for a better Shopaholic book. Not a bad book though, I survived camping trip with this....
Date published: 2006-03-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awsome!!! Oh my gosh this book was so funny. I just couldn't put it down! I really enjoyed this book. Sophie Kinsella has out done herself, again. The shopaholic series were very good (my favourite books) but this is new and it's different. I love all of Sophie Kinsella's books. My favourite one was Can You Keep A Secret. I recommend this book for people to read!
Date published: 2006-03-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Hilarious! I have read all of Sophie Kinsella's latest but this one I really enjoyed! Getting a little tired of the 'Shopaholic' thing, this book was a refreshing change. If you can get beyond the bizarre premise initially you will be in store for a laugh out loud trip!
Date published: 2006-02-27
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Good for a laugh As with other Sophie Kinsella books, this generates a few good laughs. It keeps you reading, even though you already know what and how it will happen. The book begins very well; introducting characters and developing them within the plot. However, by midway through the book it is evident that this is not a book that will be read again. Kinsella seems to struggle with the second half of the book and even more with the ending. It seems as if she was panicked and had to finish it quickly. The ending was very predictable and rather disappointing after the stronger start. The book lamely crosses the finish line in last place in my mind. It definately is worth a few laughs but not even one bob - best as a library book.
Date published: 2006-02-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from BEYOND EXCELLENT! Sophie Kinsella did it again! this book it outright hilarious! I was laughing outloud at some of the things the main character did! Honestly, this is a great read, and you will not be disappointed!!! ENJOY!
Date published: 2006-02-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Another Fabulous Read Well well well she did it again, if you loved the first 3 you will love this one as well. Sophie Kinsella is probably one of the best chick lit authors out there and I totally luv all her books, she's hillarious and so realistic in the same sense, not like some of her other competition. It's a fabulous book that prooves a lot espicially to those who work like maniacs for nothing in the end. Life's too short and if you know a workaholic female pick her up a copy of this book and make her read it while on the treadmill or whenever she can fit it into her schedule because it is totally worth it!
Date published: 2006-02-01
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Undomestic Goddess This book was a great read-I enjoyed it much more than Shopaholic - However it perpetuated the idea that women are happiest at home and that women working out of the home are miserable. The author plays with these themes in the book, at one point even saying that the character is not trying to make such a statement but in the end that is exactly what she does - it is possible to be financially successful and happy Ms. Kinsella!
Date published: 2006-01-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fun, easy read for the Holidays Great Book! It doesn't drag on and on... the plot moves on very fast. I'm not a avid reader, but I was able to finish this book in 3 days! Fun book to read for the holidays!
Date published: 2005-12-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Book This book was easy to read and I couldn't put it down. I would recommend this book to my friends because it is a fun book to read.
Date published: 2005-11-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Enjoyable Easy Read A big fan of Sophie Kinsella's novels, The Undomestic Goddess is another good quality easy read. The characters are reminiscent of those in the other novels, and yes, the story is somewhat predictable but the book is a great book to take to the beach or cottage for the weekend or a good bedtime read. I look forward to Ms. Kinsella's next endeavor... a sequel to Can You Keep A Secret? perhaps... I really enjoyed that one!
Date published: 2005-10-19
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Nice light read If you're in the market for a nice, no brainer kind of read, this is the one for you. The main character lacks depth and the plot is fairly predictable...but all in all, not a bad novel!
Date published: 2005-10-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Hilarious This book was everything you'd expect from Sophie Kinsella.
Date published: 2005-10-01
Rated 3 out of 5 by from 3 stars, and here's my reason why i have to say that i didn't enjoy this book as much as i thought i would... the main reason being that the character is almost a mirror image of sophie kinsella's other heroines. Becky and emma are all similar. the way they speak and think and act is very similar. i felt as if i were reading the same characters. i think that Ms. Kinsells is a great entertainer of fiction, BUT she has a bit of a problem coming up with different characters. Maybe in her next novel m she could use a bit of a change. It would be nice for something different in awhile.
Date published: 2005-09-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from If You Thought If you thought the Shopaholic series was good, then you are going to absolutely adore this novel. Very witty, wonderfully written with delicious scenerios. I want to also recommend: Fire In The Ice/Katlyn Stewart and Impossible/Danielle Steele
Date published: 2005-09-19
Rated 3 out of 5 by from The Same It was funny at times but the characters were too similar to the people in the shopaholic books. Because of that, it was also a very predictable book. But regardless of the originality issues, it's a nice light read.
Date published: 2005-09-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from undomestic goddess After reading Can You Keep A Secret I thought Sophia should stick to Shopoholics, but I was urged to read Undomestic Goddess, and I was proved wrong. Not spanning too far from the character based in Shopoholic, she did give her character a base, and a great sense of humour! Funny and light, great for cottage reading!
Date published: 2005-08-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Another Hilarious Hit!!! What an absolute pleasure! I have completely loved all of this author's work. The last thing I want at the end of a huge day, is too much to think about. This is just simple fun! The only problem was it ended. Bravo! and thanks from all the full time working moms out there who needed a break!
Date published: 2005-08-26
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Not impresses I was not impressed at the least with this book. I found there to be some funny parts but most of them were unrealistic and dumb. I would not suggest reading it unless you absolutley have nothing else to read.
Date published: 2005-08-25
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Disappointed I didn't see much difference between Samantha (Goddess) and Rebecca Shopaholic). I suppose because I so enjoyed the Shopaholic series, especially the first book, I was expecting a good read, but instead was disappointed and at times, bored, by Kinsella's newest book. Some scenarios were predictable also. I much preferred the Shopaholic books.
Date published: 2005-08-20
Rated 3 out of 5 by from an ok read i wasn't very impressed with this last book from sophia kinsella. the beginning was very slow and not at all believable. the characters were very similar in comparison to her last books, they were not very origional. this book does not compare to the EXCELLENT shopaholic series (apart from shopaholic and sister- very disappointing). however, if you enjoy this author, you will like this book, it has a good ending.
Date published: 2005-08-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An awsome read This book is one of the best books i've read. I love the characters (especially the gardener) and the way they interact with each other. I would definatly recommend this book.
Date published: 2005-08-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Much better than Shopaholic! I liked this a lot more than her shopaholic books. It was much less frustrating and has a great ending.
Date published: 2005-08-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fantastic Another great read from none other than Sophie Kinsella herself. Samantha Sweeting a truely the Undomestic Goddess. This was much better than Can you keep a secret with Emma Corrigan. An awesome summer read for a little excitement! This one was definantly worth the wait!
Date published: 2005-08-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Delicious Recently I have read some rather delicious romances. FIRE IN THE ICE (Katlyn Stewart) being one, IMPOSSIBLE (Danielle Steele) and of course this one-THE UNDOMESTIC GODDESS (Sophie Kinsella). In The Goddess you find a bit of a different storyline. The attorney that has it all (and never cleans) finds herself in an odd situation (having to be a housekeeper). Funny, terrific and very well written.
Date published: 2005-08-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent Book...Love It! I love this one better than the shopaholic series. I can put myself into her shoes, I would probably do the same like her...Funny, charming and sweet...
Date published: 2005-08-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent I just finished reading the book and I tell ya it is the best of her novels. I read the shopaholic series but so far the undomestic goddess is even better. I laughed and cryed all the way through the end of the book. Once I started the book I finished and about two days.
Date published: 2005-08-03
Rated 1 out of 5 by from A very poor book. I love Sophie Kinsella. I think she's a GREAT writer. Her style is fantastic, her plot lines magnificent and her love stories heart wrenching. I, have no idea, WHO wrote this book. It was a poor book, with poor style, and an unbelievable character. I just couldn't feel sorry for her and couldn't sympathize. I do love the ending (which is difficult to say for a LOT of authors), so I'll give her that much... I thought her book would do poorly because of a similar Harry Potter #6 release date, but was just a poor book. Sorry Ms. Kinsella...I'm awaiting your next Shopaholic book though!
Date published: 2005-08-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Life's too short... I just finished The Undomestic Goddess this morning after having to convince myself to put it down last night to get some sleep before waking to read it again. The last time I enjoyed a piece of chick lit this much was when my boyfriend (now my husband) bought me Confessions of a Shopaholic for Valentine's Day in 2001. I read it on a plane back from Paris later that summer and I think I disturbed the entire plane with my laughter! This book had the same impact on me. Being a lawyer myself, I could certainly relate to the pressures and stresses Samantha described, though I somehow manage to leave my blackberry in my bag while having a massage! I think the message to be taken from this book is to be cognizant that there is more to life than billable hours and there are always choices to be made. Whatever choice one makes, life is far too short to be doing something personally or professionally which makes you unhappy.
Date published: 2005-08-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from LOVED IT! Sophie Kinsella has such a way with words and her writing style is light and easy to read. She has way with creating endearing characters as well. I can't wait for her next book to come out...I am hoping it will be the next chapter in Becky Brandon's (née Bloomwood) life. I own all of her books as well as the books she wrote as Madeleine Wickham and they are all fabulous.
Date published: 2005-07-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Easy to relate to Ms. Kinsella can sell a book quite easily! Undomestic Goddess is a refreshing story to remind us busy career women to slow down and enjoy the little things in life. She did a great job transitioning the character from city life to the country life. A must read for us career women!
Date published: 2005-07-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from WOOHOO! She's done it again! Read this book it just a couple of days, I LOVED IT! I have every book by Sophe Kinsella and I'm addicted to her writing style and her characters. Whenever I get one of her novels I'm able to go through it in just a couple of days because I can't seem to get enough and I can never put it down. This book is soo interesting and exciting and Sophie's new character is great! So smart and funny and adventurous! Good job once again!
Date published: 2005-07-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best novel by Kinsella, hands down! I've read all of Sophie Kinsella's books and this is by far the best of the bunch. The set up of the story is great, the conclusion is great and everything is believable, but yet fantastical. Kinsella's chick lit domain gets better with each novel she writes.
Date published: 2005-07-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Sophie Kinsella does it again This novel came out on Tuesday and I finished it Thursday morning. Once again Sophie Kinsella as written an amazing novel that you won't be able to put down. I can't wait for her next book
Date published: 2005-07-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it! I finished this book in 2 days! This is much better than her Shopaholic and Sister. Would definiately recommend it for a summer light read.
Date published: 2005-07-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Hilarious and entertaining!!! Another great book from Sophie Kinsella! Made me laugh out loud throughout and I couldn't put it down. Only complaint is that the ending made me wanting more...hopefully a sequel is in the works?
Date published: 2005-07-17

Extra Content

Read from the Book

Chapter One Would you consider yourself stressed? No. I’m not stressed. I’m . . . busy. Plenty of people are busy. I have a high-powered job, my career is important to me, and I enjoy it. OK. So sometimes I do feel a bit tense. But I’m a lawyer in the City, for God’s sake. What do you expect? My handwriting is pressing so hard into the page, I’ve torn the paper. Dammit. Never mind. Let’s move on to the next question. On average, how many hours do you spend in the office every day? 14 12 8 It depends. Do you exercise regularly? I regularly go swimming I occasionally go swim I am intending to begin a regular regime of swimming. When I have time. Work’s been busy lately, it’s a blip. Do you drink 8 glasses of water a day? Yes Someti No. I put down my pen and clear my throat. Across the room, Maya looks up from where she’s rearranging all her little pots of wax and nail varnish. Maya is my spa beauty therapist for the day and is in her forties, I’d say. Her long dark hair is in a plait with one white streak woven through it, and she has a tiny silver stud in her nose. “Everything all right with the questionnaire?” she murmurs. “I did mention that I’m in a bit of a hurry,” I say politely. “Are all these questions absolutely necessary?” “At the Green Tree Center we like to have as much information as possible to assess your beauty and health needs,” she replies in soothing yet implacable tones. I glance at my watch. Nine forty-five. I don’t have time for this. I really do not have the time. But it’s my birthday treat and I promised my best friend, Freya. To be more accurate, it’s last year’s birthday treat. Freya gave me the gift voucher for an “Ultimate De-stress Experience” just over a year ago. She’s my oldest school friend and is always on at me for working too hard. In the card that came with the voucher she wrote Make Some Time For Yourself, Samantha!!! Which I did fully intend to do. But we had the Zincon Petrochemical Group restructuring and the Zeus Minerals merger . . . and somehow a year went by without my finding a spare moment. I’m a lawyer with Carter Spink. I work in the corporate department on the finance side, and just at the moment, things are pretty hectic with some big deals on. It’s a blip. It’ll get better. I just have to get through the next couple of weeks. Anyway, then Freya sent me this year’s birthday card—and I suddenly realized the voucher was about to expire. So here I am, on my twenty-ninth birthday. Sitting on a couch in a white toweling robe and surreal paper knickers. With a half-day window. Max. Do you smoke? No. Do you drink alcohol? Yes. The odd glass of wine. Do you eat regular home-cooked meals? What does that have to do with anything? What makes “home-cooked” meals superior? I eat a nutritious, varied diet, I write at last. Which is absolutely true. Anyway, everyone knows the Chinese live longer than we do—so what could be more healthy than to eat their food? And pizza is Mediterranean. It’s probably more healthy than a home-cooked meal. Do you feel your life is balanced? Yes. N Yes. “I’m done,” I announce, and hand the pages back to Maya, who starts reading through my answers. Her finger is traveling down the paper at a snail’s pace. Like we’ve got all the time in the world. Which she may well have. But I seriously have to be back in the office by one. Maya looks up, a thoughtful expression on her face. “You’re obviously quite a stressed-out woman.” What? Where does she get that from? I specifically put on the form, I am not stressed-out. “No, I’m not.” I hope Maya’s taking in my relaxed, see-how-unstressed-I-am smile. She looks unconvinced. “Your job is obviously very pressured.” “I thrive under pressure,” I explain. Which is true. I’ve known that about myself ever since . . . Well. Ever since my mother told me, when I was about eight. You thrive under pressure, Samantha. Our whole family thrives under pressure. It’s like our family motto or something. Apart from my brother Peter, of course. He had a nervous breakdown. But the rest of us. I love my job. I love spotting the loophole in a contract. I love the thrill of negotiation, and arguing my case, and making the sharpest point in the room. I love the adrenaline rush of closing a deal. I suppose just occasionally I do feel as though someone’s piling heavy weights on me. Like big concrete blocks, one on top of the other, and I have to keep holding them up, no matter how exhausted I am . . . But then everyone probably feels like that. It’s normal. “Your skin’s very dehydrated.” Maya is shaking her head. She runs an expert hand across my cheek and rests her fingers underneath my jaw, looking concerned. “Your heart rate’s very high. That’s not healthy. Are you feeling particularly tense?” “Work’s pretty busy at the moment.” I shrug. “It’s just a blip. I’m fine.” Can we get on with it? “Well.” Maya gets up. She presses a button set in the wall and gentle pan-pipe music fills the air. “All I can say is, you’ve come to the right place, Samantha. Our aim here is to de-stress, revitalize, and detoxify.” “Lovely,” I say, only half listening. I’ve just remembered that I never got back to David Elldridge about the Ukrainian oil contract. I meant to call him yesterday. Shit. “Our aim is to provide a haven of tranquility, away from all your day-to-day worries.” Maya presses another button in the wall, and the light dims to a muted glow. “Before we start,” she says softly, “do you have any questions?” “Actually, I do.” I lean forward. “Good!” She beams. “Are you curious about today’s treatments, or is it something more general?” “Could I possibly send a quick e-mail?” Maya’s smile freezes on her face. “Just quickly,” I add. “It won’t take two secs—” “Samantha, Samantha . . .” Maya shakes her head. “You’re here to relax. To take a moment for yourself. Not to send e-mails. E-mail’s an obsession! An addiction! As evil as alcohol. Or caffeine.” For goodness sake, I’m not obsessed. I mean, that’s ridiculous. I check my e-mails about once every . . . thirty seconds, maybe. The thing is, a lot can change in thirty seconds. “And besides, Samantha,” Maya goes on. “Do you see a computer in this room?” “No,” I reply, obediently looking around the dim little room, at posters of yoga positions and a wind chime and a row of crystals arranged on the windowsill. “This is why we ask that you leave all electronic equipment in the safe. No mobile phones are permitted. No little computers.” Maya spreads her arms. “This is a retreat. An escape from the world.” “Right.” I nod meekly. Now is probably not the time to reveal that I have a BlackBerry hidden in my paper knickers. “So, let’s begin.” Maya smiles. “Lie down, please, under a towel. And remove your watch.” “I need my watch!” “Another addiction.” She tsks reprovingly. “You don’t need to know the time while you’re here.” She turns away, and with reluctance I take off my watch. Then, a little awkwardly, I arrange myself on the massage table, trying to avoid squashing my precious BlackBerry. I did see the rule about no electronic equipment. And I did surrender my Dictaphone. But three hours without a BlackBerry? I mean, what if something came up at the office? What if there was an emergency? If they really wanted people to relax, they would let them keep their BlackBerrys and mobile phones, not confiscate them. Anyway, she’ll never see it under my towel. “I’m going to begin with a relaxing foot rub,” says Maya, and I feel her smoothing some kind of lotion over my feet. “Try to clear your mind.” I stare dutifully up at the ceiling. Clear mind. My mind is as clear as a transparent . . . glass . . . What am I going to do about Elldridge? He’ll be waiting for a response. What if he tells the other partners I was lax? What if it affects my chances of partnership? I feel a clench of alarm. Now is not the time to leave anything to chance. “Try to let go of all your thoughts. . . .” Maya is chanting. “Feel the release of tension. . . .” Maybe I could send him a very quick e-mail. Surreptitiously I reach down and feel the hard corner of my BlackBerry. Gradually I inch it out of my paper knickers. Maya is still massaging my feet, totally oblivious. “Your body is growing heavy . . . your mind should be emptying . . .” I edge the BlackBerry up onto my chest until I can just see the screen underneath the towel. Thank goodness this room is so dim. Trying to keep my movements to a minimum, I furtively start typing an e-mail with one hand. “Relaax . . .” Maya is saying in soothing tones. “Imagine you’re walking along a beach . . .” “Uh-huh . . .” I murmur. David, I’m typing. Re ZFN Oil contract. I read through amendments. Feel our response should be “What are you doing?” says Maya, suddenly alert. “Nothing!” I say, hastily shoving the BlackBerry back under the towel. “Just . . . er . . . relaxing.” Maya comes round the couch and looks at the bump in the towel where I’m clutching the BlackBerry. “Are you hiding something?” she says in disbelief. “No!” From under the towel the BlackBerry emits a little bleep. Damn. “I think that was a car,” I say, trying to sound casual. “Outside in the street.” Maya’s eyes narrow. “Samantha,” she says ominously. “Do you have a piece of electronic equipment under there?” I have the feeling that if I don’t confess she’ll rip my towel off anyway. “I was just sending an e-mail,” I say at last, and sheepishly produce the BlackBerry. “You workaholics!” She grabs it out of my hand in exasperation. “E-mails can wait. It can all wait. You just don’t know how to relax!” “I’m not a workaholic!” I retort indignantly. “I’m a lawyer! It’s different!” “You’re in denial.” She shakes her head. “I’m not! Look, we’ve got some big deals on at the firm. I can’t just switch off! Especially not right now. I’m . . . well, I’m up for partnership at the moment.” As I say the words aloud I feel the familiar stabbing of nerves. Partner of one of the biggest law firms in the country. The only thing I’ve ever wanted, ever. “I’m up for partnership,” I repeat, more calmly. “They make the decision tomorrow. If it happens, I’ll be the youngest partner in the history of the firm. Do you know how big a deal that is? Do you have any idea—” “Anyone can take a couple of hours out,” interrupts Maya. She puts her hands on my shoulders. “Samantha, you’re incredibly nervy. Your shoulders are rigid, your heart’s racing . . . it seems to me you’re right on the edge.” “I’m fine.” “You’re a bundle of jitters!” “I’m not!” “You have to decide to slow down, Samantha.” She looks at me earnestly. “Only you can decide to change your life. Are you going to do that?” “Er . . . well . . .” I stop with a squeak of surprise, as from inside my paper knickers there comes a judder. My mobile phone. I shoved it in there along with the BlackBerry and turned it onto vibrate so it wouldn’t make a noise. “What’s that?” Maya is gaping at my twitching towel. “What on earth is that . . . quivering?” I can’t admit it’s a phone. Not after the BlackBerry. “Erm . . .” I clear my throat. “It’s my special . . . er . . . love toy.” “Your what?” Maya looks taken aback. The phone judders inside my pants again. I have to answer. It might be the office. “Um . . . you know, I’m reaching a bit of an intimate moment right now.” I give Maya a significant look. “Maybe you could . . . uh . . . leave the room?” Suspicion snaps into Maya’s eyes. “Wait a moment!” She peers again. “Is that a phone under there? You smuggled in a mobile phone as well?” Oh, God. She looks furious. “Look,” I say, trying to sound apologetic. “I know you’ve got your rules and everything, which I do respect, but the thing is, I need my mobile.” I reach under the towel for the phone. “Leave it!” Maya’s cry takes me by surprise. “Samantha,” she says, making an obvious effort to keep calm. “If you’ve listened to a single word I’ve said . . . you’ll switch the phone off right now.” The phone vibrates again in my hand. I look at the caller ID and feel a twist in my stomach. “It’s the office.” “They can leave a message. They can wait.” “But—” “This is your own time.” She leans forward and clasps my hands earnestly. “Your own time.” She really doesn’t get it, does she? I almost want to laugh. “I’m an associate at Carter Spink,” I explain. “I don’t have my own time.” I flip the phone open and an angry male voice bites down the line. “Samantha, where the hell are you?” It’s Ketterman. The head of our corporate department. He’s in his late forties and his first name is John, but no one ever calls him anything except Ketterman. He has black hair and steel glasses and gray gimlet eyes, and when I first arrived at Carter Spink I actually used to have nightmares about him. “The Fallons deal is back on. Get back here now. Meeting at ten-thirty.” Back on? “I’ll be there as soon as I can.” I snap the phone shut and look ruefully at Maya. “Sorry.” I’m not addicted to my watch. But obviously I rely on it. You would too, if your time was measured in six-minute segments. For every six minutes of my working life, I’m supposed to bill a client. It all goes on a computerized time sheet, in itemized chunks. 11:00–11:06 drafted contract for Project A 11:06–11:12 amended documentation for Client B 11:12–11:18 consulted on point for Agreement C When I first started at Carter Spink it freaked me out slightly, the idea that I had to write down what I was working on, every minute of the day. I used to think: What if I do nothing for six minutes? What am I supposed to write down then? 11:00–11:06 stared aimlessly out of window 11:06–11:12 daydreamed about bumping into George Clooney in street 11:12–11:18 attempted to touch nose with tongue But if you’re a lawyer at Carter Spink, you don’t sit around. Not when every six minutes of your time is worth money. If I let six minutes of time tick away, I’ve lost the firm £50. Twelve minutes, £100. Eighteen minutes, £150. And the truth is, you get used to measuring your life in little chunks. And you get used to working. All the time.Chapter Two As I arrive at the office, Ketterman is standing by my desk, looking with an expression of distaste at the mess of papers and files strewn everywhere. Truthfully, I don’t have the most pristine desk in the world. In fact . . . it’s a bit of a shambles. But I am intending to tidy it up and sort out all the piles of old contracts on the floor. As soon as I have a moment. “Meeting in ten minutes,” he says. “I want the draft financing documentation ready.” “Absolutely,” I reply. Ketterman is unnerving at the best of times. He just emanates scary, brainy power. But today is a million times worse, because Ketterman is on the decision panel. Tomorrow morning at nine a.m., he and thirteen other partners are holding a big meeting to decide on which associates will become partners this year. All the candidates gave presentations last week to the panel, outlining what qualities and ideas we would bring to the firm. As I finished mine, I had no idea whether I’d impressed or not. Tomorrow, I’ll find out. “The draft documentation is right here. . . .” I reach into a pile of folders and pull out what feels like a box file with an efficient flourish. It’s the wrong one. Hastily I put it down. “It’s definitely here somewhere. . . .” I scrabble frantically and locate the correct file. Thank God. “Here!” “I don’t know how you can work in this shambles, Samantha.” Ketterman’s voice is thin and sarcastic. “At least everything’s to hand!” I attempt a little joke, but Ketterman remains stony-faced. Flustered, I pull out my chair, and a pile of articles and old drafts falls in a shower to the floor. “You know, the old rule was that desks were completely cleared every night by six.” Ketterman’s voice is steely. “Perhaps we should reintroduce it.” “Maybe!” “Samantha!” A genial voice interrupts us and I look round in relief to see Arnold Saville approaching along the corridor. Arnold is my favorite of the senior partners. He’s got woolly gray hair that always seems a bit wild for a lawyer, and flamboyant taste in ties. Today he’s wearing a bright red paisley affair, with a matching handkerchief in his top pocket. He greets me with a broad smile, and at once I feel myself relax. I’m sure Arnold’s the one who’s rooting for me to be made partner. Just as I’m equally sure Ketterman will be opposing it. I’ve already overheard Ketterman saying I’m very young to be made a partner, that there’s no rush. He’d probably have me pegging away as an associate for five more years. But Arnold’s always been on my side. He’s the maverick of the firm, the one who breaks the rules. For years he had a labrador, Stan, who lived under his desk, despite the complaints of the health and safety department. If anyone can lighten the atmosphere in a tricky meeting, it’s Arnold. “Letter of appreciation about you, Samantha.” Arnold beams and holds out a sheet of paper. “From the chairman of Gleiman Brothers, no less.” I take the cream vellum sheet in surprise and glance down at the handwritten note: . . . great esteem . . . her services always professional . . . “I gather you saved him a few million pounds he wasn’t expecting.” Arnold twinkles. “He’s delighted.” “Oh, yes.” I color slightly. “Well, it was nothing. I just noticed an anomaly in the way they were structuring their finances.” “You obviously made a great impression on him.” Arnold raises his bushy eyebrows. “He wants you to work on all his deals from now. Excellent, Samantha! Very well done.” “Er . . . thanks.” I glance at Ketterman, just to see if by any remote chance he might look impressed. But he’s still frowning impatiently. “I also want you to deal with this.” Ketterman puts a file on my desk. “Marlowe and Co. are acquiring a retail park. I need a due diligence review in forty-eight hours.” Oh, bloody hell. My heart sinks as I look at the heavy folder. It’ll take me hours to do this. Ketterman’s always giving me extra bits of mundane work he can’t be bothered to do himself. In fact, all the partners do it. Even Arnold. Half the time they don’t even tell me, just dump the file on my desk with some illegible memo and expect me to get on with it. And of course I do. In fact I always try to get it done just a bit faster than they were expecting. “Any problems?” “Of course not,” I say in a brisk, can-do, potential-partner voice. “See you at the meeting.” As he stalks off I check my watch. Ten twenty-two. I have precisely eight minutes to make sure the draft documentation for the Fallons deal is all in order. Fallons is our client, a big multinational tourism company, and is acquiring the Smithleaf Hotel Group. I open the file and scan the pages swiftly, checking for errors, searching for gaps. I’ve learned to read a lot faster since I’ve been at Carter Spink. In fact, I do everything faster. I walk faster, talk faster, eat faster . . . have sex faster . . . Not that I’ve had much of that lately. But two years ago I dated a senior partner from Berry Forbes. His name was Jacob and he worked on huge international mergers, and he had even less time than I did. By the end, we’d honed our routine to about six minutes, which would have been quite handy if we were billing each other. (Obviously we weren’t.) He would make me come—and I would make him come. And then we’d check our e-mails. Which is practically simultaneous orgasms. So no one can say that’s not good sex. I’ve read Cosmo; I know these things. Anyway, then Jacob was made a huge offer and moved to Boston, so that was the end of it. I didn’t mind very much. To be totally honest, I didn’t really fancy him. “Samantha?” It’s my secretary, Maggie. She only started three weeks ago and I don’t know her very well yet. “You had a message while you were out. From Joanne?” “Joanne from Clifford Chance?” I look up, my attention grabbed. “OK. Tell her I got the e-mail about clause four, and I’ll call her about it after lunch—” “Not that Joanne,” Maggie interrupts. “Joanne your new cleaner. She wants to know where you keep your vacuum-cleaner bags.” I look at her blankly. “My what?” “Vacuum-cleaner bags,” repeats Maggie patiently. “She can’t find them.” “Why does the vacuum cleaner need to go in a bag?” I say, puzzled. “Is she taking it somewhere?” Maggie peers at me as though she thinks I must be joking. “The bags that go inside your vacuum cleaner,” she says carefully. “To collect the dust? Do you have any of those?” “Oh!” I say quickly. “Oh, those bags. Er . . .” I frown thoughtfully, as though the solution is on the tip of my tongue. The truth is, I can’t even visualize my vacuum cleaner. Where did I put it? I know it was delivered, because the porter signed for it. “Maybe it’s a Dyson,” suggests Maggie. “They don’t take bags. Is it a cylinder or an upright?” She looks at me expectantly. “I’ll sort it,” I say in a businesslike manner, and start gathering my papers together. “Thanks, Maggie.” “She had another question.” Maggie consults her pad. “How do you switch on your oven?” For a moment I continue gathering my papers. “Well. You turn the . . . er . . . knob,” I say at last, trying to sound nonchalant. “It’s pretty clear, really. . . .” “She said it has some weird timer lock.” Maggie frowns. “Is it gas or electric?” OK, I think I should terminate this conversation right now. “Maggie, I really need to prepare for this meeting,” I say. “It’s in three minutes.” “So what shall I tell your cleaner?” Maggie persists. “She’s waiting for me to call back.” “Tell her to . . . leave it for today. I’ll sort it out.” As Maggie leaves my office I reach for a pen and memo pad. 1. How switch on oven? 2. Vacuum-cleaner bags—buy I put the pen down and massage my forehead. I really don’t have time for this. I mean, vacuum bags. I don’t even know what they look like, for God’s sake, let alone where to buy them— A sudden brain wave hits me. I’ll order a new vacuum cleaner. That’ll come with a bag already installed, surely. “Samantha.” “What? What is it?” I give a startled jump and open my eyes. Guy Ashby is standing at my door. Guy is my best friend in the firm. He’s six foot three with olive skin and dark eyes, and normally he looks every inch the smooth, polished lawyer. But this morning his dark hair is rumpled and there are shadows under his eyes. “Relax.” Guy smiles. “Only me. Coming to the meeting?” He has the most devastating smile. It’s not just me; everyone noticed it the minute he arrived at the firm. “Oh. Er . . . yes, I am.” I pick up my papers, then add carelessly, “Are you OK, Guy? You look a bit rough.” He broke up with his girlfriend. They had bitter rows all night and she’s walked off for good. . . . No, she’s emigrated to New Zealand. . . . “All-nighter,” he says, wincing. “Fucking Ketterman. He’s inhuman.” He yawns widely, showing the perfect white teeth he had fixed when he was at Harvard Law School. He says it wasn’t his choice. Apparently they don’t let you graduate until you’ve been OK’d by the cosmetic surgeon. “Bummer.” I grin in sympathy, then push back my chair. “Let’s go.” I’ve known Guy for a year, ever since he joined the corporate department as a partner. He’s intelligent and funny, and works the same way I do, and we just somehow . . . click. And yes. It’s possible that some kind of romance would have happened between us if things had been different. But there was a stupid misunderstanding, and . . . Anyway. It didn’t. The details aren’t important. It’s not something I dwell on. We’re friends—and that’s fine by me. OK, this is exactly what happened. Apparently Guy noticed me his first day at the firm, just like I noticed him. And he was interested. He asked Nigel MacDermot, who had the next-door office to him, if I was single. Which I was. This is the crucial part: I was single. I’d just split up with Jacob. But Nigel MacDermot—who is a stupid, stupid, thoughtless behind-the-times moron—told Guy I was attached to a senior partner at Berry Forbes. Even though I was single. If you ask me, the system is majorly flawed. It should be clearer. People should have engaged signs, like toilets. Taken. Not-Taken. There should be no ambiguity about these things. Anyway, I didn’t have a sign. Or if I did, it was the wrong one. There were a slightly embarrassing few weeks where I smiled a lot at Guy—and he looked awkward and started avoiding me, because he didn’t want to a) break up a relationship or b) have a threesome with me and Jacob. I didn’t understand what was going on, so I backed off. Then I heard through the grapevine he’d started going out with a girl called Charlotte who he’d met at some weekend party. They live together now. A month or two later we worked together on a deal, and got to know each other as friends—and that’s pretty much the whole story. I mean, it’s fine. Really. That’s the way it goes. Some things happen—and some things don’t. This one obviously just wasn’t meant to be. Except deep down . . . I still believe it was. “So,” says Guy as we walk along the corridor to the meeting room. “What was Ketterman in your room for earlier?” “Oh, the usual. A due diligence report. Have it back by yesterday, that kind of thing. Like I’m not snowed under already.” “Everyone wants you to do their work for them, that’s why,” says Guy. He shoots me a concerned look. “You want to delegate anything? I could speak to Ketterman—” “No, thanks,” I reply at once. “I can do it.” “You don’t want anyone to help.” He sounds amused. “You’d rather die, smothered by a heap of due diligence files.” “Like you’re not the same!” I retort. Guy hates admitting defeat or asking for help as much as I do. Last year he sprained his leg in a skiing accident and point-blank refused to use the crutch that the firm’s doctor gave him. His secretary kept running after him with it down corridors, but he’d just tell her to take it away and use it as a coat stand. “Well, you’ll be calling the shots soon. When you’re a partner.” He cocks an eyebrow. “Don’t say that!” I hiss in horror. He’ll jinx it. “Come on. You know you’ve made it.” “I don’t know anything.” “Samantha, you’re the brightest lawyer in your year. And you work the hardest. What’s your IQ again, six hundred?” “Shut up.” Guy laughs. “What’s one twenty-four times seventy-five?” “Nine thousand, three hundred,” I say grudgingly. Since I was about ten years old, I’ve been able to do big sums in my head. God knows why, I just can. And everyone else just goes, “Oh cool,” and then forgets about it. But Guy keeps on about it, pitching sums at me like I’m a circus performer. This is the one thing that irritates me about him. He thinks it’s funny, but it actually gets a bit annoying. I still haven’t quite worked out how to get him to stop. Once I told him the wrong number on purpose—but that time it turned out he actually needed the answer, and he put it in a contract and the deal nearly got wrecked as a result. So I haven’t done that again. “You haven’t practiced in the mirror for the firm’s Web site?” Guy adopts a pose with his finger poised thoughtfully at his chin. “Ms. Samantha Sweeting, Partner.” “I haven’t even thought about it,” I say, feigning indifference. This is a slight lie. I’ve already planned how to do my hair for the photo. And which of my black suits to wear. “I heard your presentation blew their socks off,” says Guy more seriously. My indifference vanishes in a second. “Really?” I say, trying not to sound too eager for praise. “You heard that?” “And you put William Griffiths right on a point of law in front of everybody.” Guy folds his arms and regards me humorously. “Do you ever make a mistake, Samantha Sweeting?” “Oh, I make plenty of mistakes,” I say lightly. “Believe me.” Like not grabbing you and telling you I was single, the very first day we met. “A mistake isn’t a mistake.” Guy pauses. “Unless it can’t be put right.” As he says the words, his eyes seem to hold an extra significance. Or else they’re just squiffy after his night of no sleep. I was never any good at reading the signs. I should have done a degree in mutual attraction, instead of law. It would have been a lot more useful. Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Knowing When Men Fancy You And When They’re Just Being Friendly. “Ready?” Ketterman’s whiplash voice behind us makes us both jump, and we turn to see a whole phalanx of soberly suited men, together with a pair of even more soberly suited women. “Absolutely.” Guy nods at Ketterman, then turns back and winks at me. Chapter Three Nine hours later we’re all still in the meeting. The huge mahogany table is strewn with photocopied draft contracts, financial reports, notepads covered in scribbles, polystyrene coffee cups, and Post-its. Take-out boxes from lunch are littering the floor. A secretary is distributing fresh copies of the draft agreement. Two of the lawyers from the opposition have got up from the table and are murmuring intently in the breakout room. Every meeting room has one of these: a little side area where you go for private conversations, or when you feel like breaking something. The intensity of the afternoon has passed. It’s like an ebb in the tide. Faces are flushed, tempers are still high, but no one’s shouting anymore. The Fallons and Smithleaf people have gone. They reached agreement on various points at about four o’clock, shook hands, and sailed off in their shiny limos. Now it’s up to us, the lawyers, to work out what they said and what they actually meant (and if you think it’s the same thing, you might as well give up law now) and put it all into a draft contract in time for more negotiations. When they’ll probably begin shouting some more. I rub my dry face and take a gulp of cappuccino before realizing I’ve picked up the wrong cup—the stone-cold cup from four hours ago. Yuck. Yuck. And I can’t exactly spit it out all over the table. I swallow the revolting mouthful with an inward shudder. The fluorescent lights are flickering in my eyes and I feel drained. My role in all of these megadeals is on the finance side—so it was me who negotiated the loan agreement between Fallons and PGNI Bank. It was me who rescued the situation when a £10-million black hole of debt turned up in a subsidiary company. And it was me who spent about three hours this afternoon arguing one single, stupid term in the contract. The term was best endeavors. The other side wanted to use reasonable efforts. In the end we won the point—but I can’t feel my usual triumph. All I know is, it’s seven-nineteen, and in eleven minutes I’m supposed to be halfway across town, sitting down to dinner at Maxim’s with my mother and brother Daniel. I’ll have to cancel. My own birthday dinner. Even as I think the thought, I can hear the outraged voice of Freya ringing in my mind. They can’t make you stay at work on your birthday! I canceled on her too, last week, when we were supposed to be going to a comedy club. A company sell-off was due to complete the next morning and I didn’t have any choice. What she doesn’t understand is, the deadline comes first, end of story. Prior engagements don’t count; birthdays don’t count. Vacations are canceled every week. Across the table from me is Clive Sutherland from the corporate department. His wife had twins this morning and he was back at the table by lunchtime. “All right, people.” Ketterman’s voice commands immediate attention. Ketterman is the only one here who isn’t red-faced or weary-looking or even jaded. He looks as machinelike as ever, as polished as he did this morning. When he gets angry, he just exudes a silent, steely fury. “We have to adjourn.” What? My head pops up. Other heads have popped up too; I can detect the hope around the table. We’re like schoolkids sensing a disturbance during the math test, not daring to move in case we land a double detention. “Until we have the due diligence documentation from Fallons, we can’t proceed. I’ll see you all tomorrow, here at nine a.m.” He sweeps out, and as the door closes, I exhale. I was holding my breath, I realize. Clive has already bolted for the door. People are on their mobile phones all over the room, discussing dinner, films, uncanceling previous arrangements. There’s a joyful lift to the proceedings. I have a sudden urge to yell “Yay!” But that wouldn’t be partnerlike. I gather up my papers, stuff them into my briefcase, and push back my chair. “Samantha. I forgot.” Guy is making his way across the room. “I have something for you.”

Bookclub Guide

Sophie Kinsella is the author of the bestselling Shopaholic series, as well as The Undomestic Goddess and Can 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 a workaholic?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 them?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 Samantha?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 Spink?15. What do you predict for Samantha and Nathaniel's future?

Editorial Reviews

"Light and breezy ... Samantha is eminently likable, and overworked readers will empathize with her glee at her first full weekend off in years."—Christian Science Monitor"Sophie Kinsella is at the top of the chick lit game. Her plots are fast-paced and entertaining, with the perfect amount of realistic neurosis to accompany her quirky heroines."—New York Post"Perfectly amusing....The Undomestic Goddess is a genuinely funny, sweet book. Kinsella is a comic whiz who consistently delivers what her readers crave."—Miami Herald "A lovely romantic comedy."—Washington Post “A light-as-Tofutti novel you’ll devour.” —Glamour