[Review] Allison Pearson - I Don't Know How She Does It

Title: I Don't Know How She Does It (Goodreads)
Author: Allison Pearson
Publisher: Knopf Publishing Group
Published: 2002
ISBN: 9781400040124
Pages: 358
Rating: 2.5/5 stars
Format: ebook
Start: 9 March 2015
Finish: 26 March 2015

Kate Reddy is a mother of two, trying to make it work between motherhood and her job as a hedge fund manager. As a mother, she must face the guilt for leaving her children to the nanny, trying to 'look' like a decent mother to the Mother Superior, and of course dealing with Slow Richard a.k.a her husband. Her condition at work is no better, as it was filled with men and none of them understand what it feels like to come late to work because her son's animal stuff is missing.

This book is divided into 4 parts, though I don't really understand the difference between each part. Maybe the season or the month, but there's no description whatsoever, just the title Part One, Part Two, and etc. And I have to admit, I procrastinate this book for so long. I mean, 358 pages for 17 days? That can only mean that this is not a good book for me. And I got my reasons.

Through the landing window and the December fog, a crescent moon is reclining in its deck chair over London. Even the moon gets to put its feet up once a month. Man in the Moon, of course. If it was a Woman in the Moon, she'd never sit down. Well, would she?

At first I thought this a book that will show a little tips and trick of how to juggle between motherhood and work. But it turned out to be a book filled with Kate Reddy's complaint toward everything. Since this is Kate's POV, and she's a woman, I get the feeling of having to think multiple things at once and try to remember them all and do the job. But I don't see the benefit of all the complaints that she did, especially the ones that she throw at her husband. Poor Richard, having to bear with her for so many years.

So before I was really old enough to understand what being a woman meant, I already understood that the world of women was divided in two: there were proper mothers, self-sacrificing bakers of apple pies and well-scrubbed invigilators of the washtub, and there were the other sort. At the age of thirty-five, I know precisely which kind I am, and I suppose that's what I'm doing here in the small hours of the thirteenth of December, hitting mince pies with a rolling pin till they look like something mother-made. Women used to have time to make mince pies and had to fake orgasm. Now we can manage the orgasms, but we have to fake the mince pies. And they call this progress.

This is the first Allison Pearson's book that I've read and there are some problems that I encountered. I'm not sure whether it's because of the year the book was out (2002), or the place this book was taken (England), but I don't understand most of the references that was stated in this book. References like Brooks Brothers, Pontius pilot, Midi-Pamper, Shreddies, and so on. Just now, I tried to find what are those words mean and I actually understand some of them. But there are a lot of them and I can't search it in Google for every time I found it, right?

Sometimes I worry that I've traveled this far, done this well in life, only for my kids to grow up as jaded and spoiled as the people I was patronized by at college.

The ending of this book is predictable. And it's not because I've watched the movie before the book. I did, but I had forgotten most part of the movie, especially the ending. As much as I don't like this book, I think there are several quotes and ironic moments that was pretty valuable and funny for me.

I know a woman who is afraid of her children's need for her that, rather than go home after work, she sits in the wine bar until they're asleep.
I know a woman who wakes her baby at 5.30 every morning so she can have some time with him.
I know a woman who went on a TV discussion program and talked about doing the school run. Her nanny told me she barely knew where her kids' school was.
I know a woman who heard down the phone from a baby-sitter that her baby took his first steps.
And I know a woman who found out her husband left her from a note that was read out to her by her nanny.


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