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on 11 October 2006
I have read and enjoyed every single one of Sophie Kinsella's books and this one was no exception. The story revolves around an intelligent woman who has a high powered career but after making one mistake has to hide away from her old life and finds herself as the new housekeeper for a couple who live in a big house in the country. This would be fine but as Samantha is in no way, shape or form domestic, there are some hilarious scenes in the book where she has to learn the hard way how to run a big house and not be discovered for being a fake in the first place. As Samantha comes to terms with everything she now has to face, she learns to slow down her life in the process. I loved the book, its an easy read but the characters are likeable and the plot moves along at a good pace and although some of it is a little predictable, its still a great read and roll on Sophie's next book.
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on 6 June 2005
I've been a massive fan of all four Sophie Kinsella books that have been published before this one, they've all been funny and well-written, easy to read and occasionally quite touching in places. The 'Shopaholic...' series is one I like to revisit quite often, and I enjoyed 'Do You Want to Know a Secret?', but 'The Undomestic Goddess' is now my favourite Kinsella book!
It's not as lighthearted as the other books, but it still manages to be funny. Sam's character is very different from Becky Bloomwood et al, she's a high-flying lawyer who's totally career first! The story of her transformation is brilliantly entertaining, if a little unbelieveable, and I was really rooting for her all the way through the book.
The ending is a brave attempt at a 'will she, won't she?' for many aspect's of Sam's life, but I found it to drag a little too much before the conclusion (a tiny bit of a cliche, unfortunately) is reached. Sam's love interest, Nathaniel, is a little two-dimensional, and while likeable, I feel that so much more could have been done with his character.
If you've read and liked any of Sophie Kinsella's books before, I can guarantee that you will enjoy this one. Minor faults aside, this is a great holiday read and I loved it.
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on 11 October 2006
Fantastic, fantastic, fantastic. I bought this book to read on a flight from the UK to Australia and it had me laughing so loud I was quite an embarrassment! I'm not a 'chick lit' kind of girl but this was a real exception. As an author myself I really admire the talent it takes to write a book where almost every line makes you smile or laugh. Pure escapism, very charming and such good fun, and somehow it also manages to be a book which makes you take stock of what really counts in life. This should be compulsory reading for every workaholic - and certainly every lawyer. In fact I'm going to order a copy for a lawyer who's a close friend right now. Enjoy!
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on 16 December 2006
The first reviewer here seems to miss the point. Of course this is fluffy, predictable, and requires no brain to read: that's the point of it. What many non-writers fail to understand, however, is that writing fiction full of clichés, obvious plot turns, stereotyped characters and doing it well is not as easy as it may look. Many try, few succeed. 'Sophie Kinsella', as is clear from her Madeleine Whickham novels, is a competent writer, and the success of her deliberately chick-lit shopaholic novels demonstrates that she knows how to succeed in a demanding and competitive marketplace. Don't knock that if you haven't tried it. Her novels are warm, funny, entertaining, and sometimes very perceptive: what's wrong with that? This is not literary fiction, nor does it remotely pretend to be. Just as we don't always drink expensive champagne or dine out at the best restaurants, but sometimes bring home fish and chips or order a Chinese takeaway, so a steady diet of serious fiction can pall. There are moments when everyone (everyone sensible anyway) needs a spot of relaxation. This book provides it. Who cares if the hunky gardener is straight out of Mills and Boon? Who cares if the story of someone giving up the strain of life in the city for a real life in the country has been told dozens of times before? This is a take on a familiar story, and it works. Well done, Sophie.
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on 10 August 2006
If all chicklit authors could deliver work of the same quality as Ms Kinsella, I'd never read anything else ever again!

Never having read any of the Shopoholic series I have to admit that when I bought this, had no idea who Sophie Kinsella was. Just as well as I've always steered deliberately clear of the Shopaholic series because they sounded less appealing than a wet cardboard box served as Sunday lunch.

Having said that, I was still somewhat trepidacious when I bought this book because the storyline, a high-flying legal eagle in the city becoming a housekeeper in the country even though she can't cook, iron, wash or do anything else remotely domestic, didn't sound as if it would work. Maybe most authors wouldn't have been able to pull it off but Ms Kinsella certainly did!

Her characters are all extremely well formed and had me laughing out loud on several occasions. Trish, the nouveau riche "lady of the house" has so many typically chav traits about her as she tries to prove herself a worthy member of the country set and the niece... well, if I ever wanted to slap somebody, it was her!

There are plenty of twists in the tale to keep the story moving and the ending is so well written that I almost believed I was actually there with Samantha, the heroine of the story.

If you want a good laugh whilst enjoying a story about characters you'll care about, this is definitely a book that shouldn't be missed. One word of warning, though. If you start it while laying on the beach, you might well end up burned to a frazzle because time will fly without you realising it!
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VINE VOICEon 12 March 2007
The first time I ever saw a Sophie Kinsella book I thought it looked like trashy chick lit. Well I was completely wrong. Her books are hilarious and entertaining. This book is no exception!

To sum up: hot shot lawyer Samantha makes a terrible mistake at work which costs her her career. In her panic and shock she accidently becomes a housekeeper for a rich but nice couple. What follows is laugh out loud funny. I was reading this book on the bus and I am sure the woman next to me was scared as I just kept grinning manically.

This book is exactly the kind of thing that will take your mind off a stressful week and will also teach you a bit of a valuable lesson, that you might well be striving for success at the cost of everything else!

Just brilliant!
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on 4 July 2005
I had previously read two of Sophie kinsella's books. Can youo keep a secret (brillaint book) and the first shopaholic book (also brilliant.) i didn't know what to expect from this book except something of high standard. It absolutly exceeded my expectations. i really enjoyed reading this book. The first love scene between Sam and Nathanial was sooo romantic! I actually couldn't put this book down, it just drawed me in instantly. i recommend this book to everyone because it is brilliantly written.
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on 16 September 2013
Have you ever felt like the rug has been completely pulled out from under your feet? Something you've worked for all of your life within grasp and the harshly yanked away from you because of one little mistake? Samantha has. High flying city lawyer Samantha is due to take up a partnership position at her firm when a costly mistake has her running for the countryside. Samantha has to overcome the massive change in her surroundings and acclimatise to her new state of domesticity.

I think this was the first book by Sophie Kinsella that I had read, and it definitely got me hooked on her writing style and I have enjoyed many since reading this.

The story follows Samantha as her high flying career comes crashing down around her and she finds herself making her way on to any train to anywhere as long as it's far from London. Blagging herself as a Cordon Bleu trained housekeeper Samantha joins the Geigers. Without a clue how to turn her own oven on, or whether her Hoover needs bags or has a cylinder she embarks on a journey which could possibly have a harder learning curve than studying for her law degree.

Cue crush-worthy Gardner Nathaniel. Nat is nobody's fool and calls Samantha out as the fraud she is, after their first meeting. Nat sees an opportunity to help Sam and offers his mother's services to teach her to cook and keep house.

I loved Samantha's character. She is down to earth and completely relatable to anyone who has ever felt any pressure and who just needs to get away from it all. You will be laughing throughout as this feel good romance twists and turns as Samantha changes almost beyond recognition. The writing is witty and has you feeling like you are with Samantha the whole time. You'll want to keep reading to the end as a plot twist is thrown in meaning changes for the characters.

I often think it's nice to see some of the story told by other characters, however in a case like this where the protagonist is so likeable, reading purely from her perspective just makes it easier for you to like her and want the best for her. I also loved how easy it was for me to imagine the characters. For me Samantha was a cross between Kate Hudson and Jennifer Love Hewitt. It makes it easier to imagine yourself in her place if you can really see the character bringing you a whole lot closer to the story.

I also really liked Nathaniel's character. He was easy going and complimented Samantha's highly strung and nervous exterior, teaching her to appreciate taking time to carry out tasks and to actually live life. Having said that, who doesn't love a good hottie to read about?

I think if you haven't read this, or haven't read it for a while it is a good read for any Sophie fans, but also for any fans of Lindsey Kelk and Paige Toon.
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on 20 August 2005
Well done Sophie Kinsella, this book is fantastic it made me laugh out loud. It was an easy read book and you can relate to the character just like we all related to becky bloomwood! Cant wait for sophie kinselas next novel no doubt will be just as good as the rest.
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on 2 June 2006
I really need to be hooked in to a book in the first few pages otherwise I give up and don't read it. This book is wonderful! You relate to the character from the first page and want to read it all in one go!

Fun and frivelous!
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