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Download I Don't Know How She Does It: The Life of Kate Reddy, Working Mother Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample I Dont Know How She Does It: The Life of Kate Reddy, Working Mother Audiobook, by Allison Pearson Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (10,441 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Allison Pearson Narrator: Josephine Bailey Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2002 ISBN: 9780736697835
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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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “The book every working woman is likely to devour. . . . A hysterical look—in both the laughing and crying senses of the word—at the life of Supermom. The New York Times
  • “Think of Kate Reddy as Bridget Jones’ older, harried, married working-mother-of-two sister. . . . Hilarious. Entertainment Weekly
  • “Perfectly captures the driven days and frequently sleep-deprived nights of that modern mammal, the working mother . . . with acute humor, piercing insight and more than a touch of tenderness. New York Daily News
  • “The definitive social comedy of working motherhood. The Washington Post
  • Fast . . . funny . . . heartbreaking. . . . You root for Kate the whole length of her roller coaster ride. The New York Times Book Review
  • “The national anthem for working mothers. Oprah Winfrey
  • A comic wonder: wildly hilarious, achingly sad, perfectly observed. The Miami Herald
  • One of the 2002 New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books for Fiction

Listener Opinions

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jeni | 2/16/2014

    " Blek. I read to escape, not immerse myself in what isn't going well! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Lauryn Angel | 1/26/2014

    " I don't know why I read it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kate | 1/16/2014

    " I recognised far too much of myself in Kate Reddy but loved it all the same! Such an accurate reflection of the stressful, relentless life of a working woman in London and, I imagine, with a family. Complete chick lit but an enjoyable easy read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Anki | 1/11/2014

    " I liked it far better the second time I read it. After having two kids an been back att work for some time I can more easily relate to Kate Reddy. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michele | 1/6/2014

    " Fantastic for busy working moms! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Judy | 1/3/2014

    " Oprah called this book "the national anthem for working mothers". Every mother who has taken her children to day-care or left them with a caregiver before rushing off to another day at the office will identify with this book. It's a whirlwind of responsibilities at home, sick children, school holidays, pressure in the professional world not to use children as an excuse for incomplete assignments or inability to work overtime, and the condescending attitude of "full-time" Moms. Many women find the expectations placed on modern women to be quite simply overwhelming. This book certainly struck a cord with me. A hilarious and heart-breaking look at life for many women and the choices that they make in the 21st century. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Alana | 1/1/2014

    " The thing is in the end she doesn't 'do it'... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rachel Altman | 12/30/2013

    " The book captures very well the pain, guilt, and exhaustion that most working moms experience. I'm not sure why those topics would be considered funny; the book is well written but I don't recommend it if you're looking for something light and humorous. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Hannah | 12/24/2013

    " I would have given a 3.5 stars if possible but it was definitely better than 3. A really fun read that also explores important ideas about working women. The story got a bit repetitive in the middle but then won me back with unexpected turns in the last half. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Nicola | 12/7/2013

    " I simply Can't finish the book . I even tried watching the movie and fell asleep! That's saying something as I'm the kind of person that has to see the end of even a bad movie. Additionally, I especially didn't like the change from London to New York. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Meghan | 10/4/2013

    " Story of working mom trying to do it all. Rather depressing with living the story myself. I want to read to escape my crazy life - not see it in print. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Zainab.bakry | 9/11/2013

    " It was okay, light and humorous. Loved the ending. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Michelle | 1/25/2013

    " Hope the movie is Americanized and a little better than the book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rachel | 12/6/2012

    " Not high-quality literature, but a good read that any working mother can appreciate. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Katherine | 10/12/2012

    " What a cop-out. She quits!! Many of us who are balancing work and children do not have that option. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Vikki | 8/24/2012

    " Pearson definitely knows how to write about the guilt that woman feel. It's a honest, funny, poignant read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ann Warner | 5/15/2012

    " Kate Reddy's life made me feel a bit breathless at times. Good story, writing is wonderful. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Merty | 4/19/2012

    " This was very well written book that held my interest and makes one appreciate all the things that Mom's do! :) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kate | 3/10/2012

    " Slurp. Yummy. It made me laugh. It made me sad. It made me happy that I have a government job instead of a more remunerative private sector gig, but the pain is so familiar. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sharon | 2/24/2012

    " I was not a fan, although she made some good points and had some humerous moments, I felt she kept pounding in the same point over and over. Most of the charachers were sterotyped, and often challenges left unresolved...cut of by moving on to the next challenge. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Philippa | 12/4/2011

    " Great book - very clever, interesting and well paced story. Lots to take in, especially for a woman approaching 30 with no children yet..... "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Heather | 11/8/2011

    " Just could not get into it, though I tried and tried. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Magda | 11/5/2011

    " Overall a funny book with some laugh out loud moments as its told through the eyes of Kate reddy(the working mom trying to juggle career and parenthood). The only problem was in my head it was sjp voice from sex and the city as she played Kate in the movie. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jill | 11/3/2011

    " The book had touches of humor, but for the most part the characters were unsympathetic and the message was unclear. (And the emails/email shorthand were obnoxious.) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Karen | 11/2/2011

    " Light, funny read for anyone who has ever been a full-time working mom. Good movie script material (obviously). "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kristenrothe | 11/2/2011

    " This book is amazing and funny. It is a must read for any working mother! I couldn't believe how intuitive it was and how much I understood where she was coming from. Absolutely love it and would consider it one of my favorite books of all time! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gwyn | 10/30/2011

    " Most of my friends disliked this book, I pushed through and can say I enjoyed it. Not the speed of the book but other literary aspects of the novel. Not sure I'd recommend it, but it was ok "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Hilary | 10/28/2011

    " Laugh out loud funny - a lot of it resonated greatly with me. Still feeling ambivalent about the ending. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Angela | 10/27/2011

    " This was supposed to be a guilty pleasure book, but the "pleasure" part came to an end far before the novel did. While Pearson raises some very serious questions of gender, society, and double standards, its hard to root for a character that grows increasingly unlikeable. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cali | 10/27/2011

    " An entertaining look at the life of a working mother. I'm glad I don't work on Wall Street. I enjoyable read on a long plane ride. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sarah | 10/25/2011

    " Kate Reddy pissed me off. She knew she was stressed out, she knew everything was falling apart, but she kept going anyway. Then when she finally makes a change, she reverts to old habits. I did like the take-down of Bunce, though. That was good. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Brigid | 10/24/2011

    " eh...found the writing style jarring and unclear at times. I think that was the point (the mom's thoughts are all over the place b/c she's just soooo busy), but I really wasn't a fan "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Joelle | 10/24/2011

    " eventually redeeming, but just kind of sad to me, in general... "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ana | 10/23/2011

    " This was supposed to be my "fun" book after reading A Thousand Splendid Suns. It started off fun and light but then ended up more serious and less funny by the middle. Really struggled to get to the end as I feel it got a bit preachy. "

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About the Author
Author Allison Pearson

Allison Pearson, an award-winning journalist and author, is a staff writer for the London Daily Telegraph. Her first novel, I Don’t Know How She Does It, became an international bestseller and was made into a movie starring Sarah Jessica Parker. Pearson is a patron of Camfed, a charity that supports the education of thousands of African girls. She lives in Cambridge with her husband and their two children.

About the Narrator

Josephine Bailey’s impeccable narrations include the British classics Jane Eyre and The Secret Garden. She has also used her subtly nuanced style to enliven historical fiction and light romances. She has won nine AudioFile Earphones Awards and been a finalist for the prestigious Audie Award.