For every woman trying to strike that impossible balance
between work and home—and pretending that she has—and for every woman who has
wanted to hurl the acquaintance who coos admiringly, “Honestly, I just don’t
know how you do it,” out a window, here’s a novel to make you cringe with
recognition and laugh out loud. With fierce, unsentimental irony, Allison
Pearson’s novel brilliantly dramatizes the dilemma of working motherhood at the
start of the twenty-first century.
Meet Kate Reddy, hedge-fund manager and mother of two. She
can juggle nine different currencies in five different time zones and get
herself and two children washed and dressed and out of the house in half an
hour. In Kate’s life, Everything Goes Perfectly as long as Everything Goes
Perfectly. She lies to her own mother about how much time she spends with her
kids; practices pelvic floor squeezes in the boardroom; applies tips from
Toddler Taming to soothe her irascible boss; uses her cell phone in the office
bathroom to procure a hamster for her daughter’s birthday (“Any working mother
who says she doesn’t bribe her kids can add Liar to her résumé”); and cries
into the laundry hamper when she misses her children’s bedtime.
In a novel that is at once uproariously funny and achingly
sad, Allison Pearson captures the guilty secret lives of working women—the
self-recrimination, the comic deceptions, the giddy exhaustion, the despair—as no
other writer has. Kate Reddy’s conflict—how are we meant to pass our days? How
are we to reconcile the two passions, work and motherhood, that divide our
lives?—gets at the private absurdities of working motherhood as only a novel
could: with humor, drama, and bracing wisdom. Download and start listening now!