Sophie Kinsella’s novel, The Undomestic Goddess, is a formulaic but fun-filled twist on Kinsella’s previous stories. Firmly in the chick lit genre but possessing more wit and laugh-out-loud humor than most others in that category, The Undomestic Goddess can most closely be compared to Kinsella’s other books, including her first and most well-known novel, Confessions of a Shopaholic.
The story revolves around Samantha Sweeting, a highly driven attorney living the legal dream at one of Britain’s most prestigious law firms. In line to become the firm’s youngest-ever partner, Samantha is rudely booted from the company when a small filing error costs a client millions of pounds. In a panic-stricken daze, Samantha flees London to get away from the repercussions of her mistake and knocks on the door of a spacious mansion when she gets off the train several cities later.
The couple who lives there believes Samantha is an applicant for a full-time housekeeping position and employ her on the spot before she can protest. Unfortunately, Samantha knows nothing about cooking or cleaning after years of slaving to climb the ladder of corporate success. How Samantha finds happiness, love, and the domestic skills to pull off such an undertaking is a hilarious mess of misunderstandings.
A former financial journalist, Kinsella is famous for her Shopaholic series and known for her endearing portrayals of clever yet slightly neurotic women. She also wrote the novel Can You Keep a Secret?, currently her only other non-Shopaholic work.
As always, Kinsella’s skill with the written word is unparalleled in her genre. Although, like her other novels, The Undomestic Goddess follows the mishaps of a quirky young woman who digs herself deeper into her lies and cover stories before pulling through in the end, it is no less of a gem to read. Kinsella’s ability to convey common thoughts that every woman has in a way that makes the reader laugh out loud never gets old.
While some of Samantha’s ploys over the course of the novel are rather ludicrous and nearly cross the line of believability, the funny and touching writing makes up for them. Samantha is lovable as a heroine, and the supporting characters are often humorously endearing. The love plot is subdued but sweet, and Kinsella does an excellent job of weaving humor and romance together for a believable relationship.
Kinsella delivers another winner with The Undomestic Goddess, a predictable but never boring piece of chick lit. Sweet as cotton candy but with enough bite to hook the reader until the very end, The Undomestic Goddess is perfect for anyone who wants to put away the heavy reading and have a purely fun fiction experience.