“The national anthem for working mothers.” —Oprah Winfrey
The introduction, discussion questions, author biography, and suggested reading list that follow are intended to enhance your group’s reading of Allison Pearson’s I Don’t Know How She Does It, a hilarious, heartbreaking, and utterly unforgettable novel about a working mother trying to strike that impossible balance between work and family.
This novel about the roller-coaster ride of modern motherhood brings its thrills and travails into such terrifying focus that it's practically an IMAX experience, with Lego, Disney videos, and corporate e-mails flying at you from all directions. It opens at 1 A.M. in the kitchen of thirty-five-year-old Kate Reddy, hedge-fund manager and mother of two, who is hitting Sainsbury mince pies with a rolling pin so that they can pass for home-made at her daughter's school: "Now we can manage the orgasms, but we have to fake the mince pies. And they call this progress." The novel's title refers to a remark frequently made by Kate's smug stay-at-home contemporaries, usually right after they've asked when she's switching to part-time. But how long, in fact, will Kate be able to do it -- the sleepless nights, the piggish colleagues, the censorious in-laws, the text message from the nanny, received mid-meeting, informing her that she may have lice? Pearson provides a suspenseful and entertaining answer to this question, but along the way she asks some equally tricky ones about the way we live now.