Samantha Sweeting is a 28-year-old lawyer at Carter-Spink, a top-notch London law firm. She works late nights, week-ends, has no social life to speak of and no time to unwind. But why would she want to relax? She loves her job, the rushes of adrenalin, and the prospect of getting a partnership very soon. Samantha has it all, or so she thinks, until the day when her partnership is to be announced. On that same day, she realizes that she has made a mistake. Not a small mistake either, but a 50 million pounds mistake…

When she realizes what happens, Samantha, unable to face the consequences, jumps up on the first train for out of town, gets drunk, and ends up in a cute country village. After a series of misunderstanding, she finds herself hired as a housekeeper for a wealthy and snobbish couple. Amidst the despair of loosing everything she had worked for, and meeting with the scorn of people who used to be her coworkers and friends, Samantha realizes that she has no qualifications whatsoever for the job she has just accepted. Her experience in cooking extends to heating a pizza in the microwave, and she doesn’t even know that vacuum cleaners have bags.

Soon after deciding she cannot go back to London and face the people she disappointed (including a very ambitious mother), Samantha resolves to stick with her new job, just for a little while, and meets Nathaniel, a handsome gardener, who quickly recognizes her as a fraud…

The Undomestic Goddess is the perfect book to relax if you want to leave aside your critical mind, and just enjoy. Why is it that I need to justify myself anyway? Maybe because I don’t usually read Chick Lit, I even tend to avoid it to say the truth. I find it demeaning that there should be such a category as literature for "young" women. What if I am past my bloom, as Jane Austen would put it, and still read "Chick Lit", should I feel guilty then? Or are "serious" authors (Margaret Atwood, David Mitchell, John Irving, Kazuo Ishiguro, etc.) out of reach for the average "chick"? Or to put in yet another way, what about those "serious" authors who are more likely read by women (Austen, Bronte, etc.)? Should we also include them in the Chick Lit category? After all, the subjects are more or less the same: single women meeting Mr. Right. Now it is just question of whether we would rather read that "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife" (Pride and Prejudice) or " He doesn’t have a girlfriend. […] The way is clear. I just need a strategy" (The Undomestic Goddess). It depends of the mood of course, but the spirit is the same. One is literature, the other light entertainment. I like to read a Sophie Kinsella from time to time (even if I refuse to try another "Chick Lit" writer… I might enjoy it, for God’s sake!), what I don’t like is the discriminating "Chick Lit" designation…

Anyway, The Undomestic Goddess entertained me. Not such a brainless book after all. I liked the story and the "philosophy" of the novel, but missed the characters and wit of the Shopaholic series…

Rating: 4/5