Unexpectedly Finished The Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella

I must say that writing another post, meaning finishing yet another book for the month, is quite unexpected. After more than a month of being in a slump, I now crown The Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella as a contemporary read that took me out of it.

So the book follows the story of twenty-nine-year-old Samantha Sweeting, one of the greatest lawyers in London. After seven years of hard labor and no rest, Samantha is going to be made partner in Carter Spink. Her hard work seems to pay off given that this high-profile career trajectory has been her only goal in life since she was a teenager.

However, the promotion is not as smooth as expected. Samantha finds herself making a stupid little mistake. Breaking down over the first-ever mistake in her seven-year-long career, she then boards a train at Paddington station, ending up in the middle of nowhere. When she knocks on the door of a beautiful manor, she is mistaken as an interviewee for a housekeeping job. With no clue of her real identity, the odd couple owning the house hires Samantha as their new housekeeper. But Samantha has no experience in doing domestic chores, and so she leaves disaster in both the kitchen and washing machine.

Well, I must say that The Undomestic Goddess felt like a typical Sophie Kinsella novel: it’s a fun, entertaining read that felt relatable to some extent. Samantha’s contrasting transformation from being a workaholic to adapting to a slow-living lifestyle felt so close to looking at a two-way mirror. I believe some of us could relate to filling in a timesheet as our job's daily requirement. Similar to Samantha’s timetable, I used to have the “Office Administration” option in mine.

As usual, the thing I treasure the most from Kinsella’s books is her fun female main charactersand Samantha is no different. Although there is not much difference between Samantha and Kinsella’s other main characters, I could still appreciate her life development and even sympathize with her turmoil. You could also say that the Greigers, with their peculiarities, had me in this book.

While I liked Samantha as a character, I didn’t think she possessed the ‘it’ factor that shaped her into this charming, admirable character, however. Her romance with Nathaniel the gardener felt too rushed to the point that (please skip this part if you haven’t read the book yet) the only time we could see her developing a crush on him was that one time she saw him shirtless. Well, at least there was something. I couldn’t say the same for Nathaniel.

I knew what to expect before picking up this booka too-good-to-be-true story, sprinkled with various too-good-to-be-true coincidences. I was obviously okay with itisn’t that what a contemporary book is for? With that kind of acceptance, it was sort of weird that I was bothered by how the last few chapters felt too much like a soap opera. I knew the dilemma was confusing to say the least, but to me, Samantha’s fickleness made her seem highly unprofessional. It was hard to accept that from someone who was supposed to be as competent as she was.

In conclusion, I enjoyed The Undomestic Goddess, particularly the fact that I could relate to the ‘working excessively versus slow living’ dilemma of Samantha’s. If only the characters were more developed, I reckon I would love it more.

Actual rating: 3.4