The last time I laughed out loud while reading a book was while reading Bridget Jones' hilarious interview with Colin Firth in Bridget Jones' Diary 2: Edge of Reason. I thanked my stars I wasn't reading the book while travelling on a bus, because that would have been an embarrassing ride and I'm not good at stifling laughter. That was almost a year ago.
And now, thanks to Tanu's wonderful recommendation, I'm glad I read Undomestic Goddess, which was quite the laugh riot. The reason I love this book is because it gave me just exactly what I expect from a good chick-lit book: loads of fun, laughter and a good romance.
Samantha Sweeting is a high-profile lawyer who is perennially busy. Just before achieving her dream of becoming partner of one of the most prestigious law firms, she makes a terrible mistake that will cost her big time. In a trance, she walks out of her office, takes a train, lands up at a posh house where she is thought to have come for an interview. An interview to be the housekeeper of the house. Difficult when you're a lawyer with an IQ of 150+ and have zero domestic skills.
Samantha's journey as she learns everything from doing the laundry to ironing clothes to making dinner and finding love, is so hilariously written by Sophie Kinsella. Kinsella's witty, effortlessly funny writing reminded me of Meg Cabot, whose books are mostly well-written and I enjoy reading. An example of the fun writing is below. I adore Harry Potter references and this particular one, referring to Samantha unable to plug the iron, worked so well:
'I expect you're used to another model,' she adds wisely as she clicks it shut. 'They all have their own tricks.'
'Absolutely!' I (Samantha) say, seizing on this excuse in relief. 'Of course! I'm far more used to working with a...a...a Nimbus 2000'
Trish peers at me in surprise. 'Isn't that the broomstick out of Harry Potter?'
Broad beans shelling:
Each time I split open it's like finding a row of pale-green jewels. And when I put one in my mouth, it's like-
Oh, OK. It needs to be cooked.
I loved suspending logic for this book. You can find a hundred errors if you wish to. The story is unrealistic too. But I didn't really care. I found it better to be caught into the mindless fun and have a laugh and unwind! This is a long book at almost 400 pages, but is very easy to read. I read it in a matter of a day.
I loved the book a lot, also because I could relate to Samantha. Well, obviously not entirely. My work is quite strenuous and tough and I'm always in a hurry. Not as hurried as Samantha whose job is a bit of an exaggeration, though it works for the book. Plus, much like Samantha, I am totally your Undomestic Goddess, the anti-thesis of Nigella Lawson.
Of course there is a happy ending and all is well. The whole narrative that included reporters and newspaper headlines ( SAMANTHA CHOOSES LAW OVER LOOS ) was absolutely funny. In the hands of a less-talented writer, this book might have been a bit of a bore, but Kinsella writes so well without overdoing anything. I'm looking forward to reading more of her books.
I'm also looking forward to the movie based on the book, that supposedly releases in 2011. It ought to be fun! And oh, if it was left to me, I'd cast Katherine Heigl as Samantha.