Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Undomestic Goddess - Sophie Kinsella

Rating: 8/10

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?'
Also...sample this:
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. 


Tanu said...

Great Review!!! I am so glad that you enjoyed the book. I am also waiting on the movie.

If you are still looking for humor, listen to anything by Celia Rivenbark. I enjoyed listening to her way more than David Sedaris and David Sedaris is good.

Did you know that Sophie Kinsella is not the author's real name? :)

JoAnn said...

This sounds like a lot of fun! It would be great to read on vacation.

Vaishnavi said...

Ooh lovely review! :) I am a big fan of Kinsella and I loved her undomestic Goddess :) :) She has this way of writing that takes you up but brings you crashing back to earth quite comically. I never knew a movie adaptation is releasing, and I agree! Katherine Heigl will make an awesome Samantha :)

Bee said...

Brilliant review! I want to explore the Chick Lit genre as I am ashamed to admit that I have never really read any. I think if I am going to start then Sophie Kinsella is the author I am going to start with! I love the Harry potter references! It sounds like it would make a great film!

Dana said...

Sophie Kinsella is one of my favorite authors, and I definitely see the comparison to Meg Cabot. You made me want to reread this one - I have the entire Shopaholic series sitting on my shelf (and have read each one several times...), but I haven't come back to this one in a while. Great review!

Kals said...

Tanu - Thanks :)I haven't heard of Celia Rivenbark or David Sedaris, but I'll look out for them. I'm looking forward to reading more of Kinsella!

Yep..I googled Kinsella when I was writing the review and found her name is Madeleine Wickham :)

JoAnn - Absolutely. Fun to read and will help you unwind :)

Vaishnavi - Thanks so much :)
'She has this way of writing that takes you up but brings you crashing back to earth quite comically.'
That is so very true. She's a fabulous writer in her genre. Heigl was the first person who came to my mind when I thought of someone to play Samantha. I loved her in 27 Dresses ( Okay, I loved James Marsden more, but still :P )

Scattie - Thanks :) I think Kinsella would definitely be a great place to start. I hope you enjoy this book when you read it!

Dana - Thanks so much! I'm looking forward to reading the Shopaholic series. A friend of mine loves it and has been asking me to read it for quite some time now :)

A Buckeye Girl Reads said...

I love Sophia Kinsella's books. They are just so much fun. I honestly can't remember if I've read this one or not, but your review makes me want to totally read it now!

Tami said...

This is a fun book that I've recommended to lots of library patrons. Didn't know there was going to be a movie, but can't wait - and yes, Kathrine Heigl would be perfect.

Kim said...

I love to read chic lit in and around other heavier reads, or especially in the summer. Okay, I must be in the Twilight Zone because when I started to read this book I thought, "This is a movie, right? I KNOW I've seen it--the whole beginning." I started it late for the read-a-thon and then when I was sure I had seen the movie, I stopped and went to bed. (It wasn't Confessions because I have seen that one, too.)

Kals said...

Colette - Totally! I've heard Kinsella's books are loads of fun and this one is no different :)

Dave and Tami - Heigl has great comic timing and I can see her play a brilliant Samantha :)

Kim - Hehe. I do the same too. I'm caught reading loads of serious novels, non-fiction right now and Undomestic Goddess helped me relax :) I agree that the book had a 'movie' feel to it in the sense, while I was reading through it, I knew it would make a great film!

Anonymous said...

I don't know...after reading her other books, I found this one a leetle bit disappointing.

Glad to know you enjoyed it though :)

Booksnyc said...

I love Kinsella (and Madeline Wickham's) books! This is among my favorites of hers - glad you enjoyed it too! This is the first I have heard of a movie - definitely something to look forward to!

Kals said...

Nishita - I haven't read any of her other books, but I loved how hilarious this book was :)

Booksync - Thank you. I hope the movie is as much fun as the book is :D


Related Posts with Thumbnails
Protected by Copyscape Online Plagiarism Test