How Hard Can It Be?
by Pearson, Allison






When her husband quits his job to pursue cycling and mindfulness, middle-aged mom Kate Reddy returns to the workforce as an entry-level employee for her former employer.





ALLISON PEARSON is the author of the hugely bestselling I Don't Know How She Does It, which became a major motion picture starring Sarah Jessica Parker, and I Think I Love You. Pearson was named Newcomer of the Year at the British Book Awards for her first book. She has written for The Daily Telegraph, The Times (UK), The Daily Mail, Time, The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Observer and countless other publications. Pearson has won many awards including Columnist of the Year, Critic of the Year and Interviewer of the Year. She lives in Cambridge, England, with the New Yorker film critic Anthony Lane, and their two children.





*Starred Review* In the sequel to I Don't Know How She Does It (2002), Kate Reddy, now staring down age 50, has been out of the London finance game for several years, taking care of growing kids and aging parents and doing freelance work when she can find it. But now that her husband quit his job to pursue cycling and mindfulness, she's rehabbing a fixer-upper in the suburbs, and her kids' material needs only seem to grow. Someone has to pay the bills. After some maneuvering (ahem, lying about her age) Kate lands an entry-level position at the fund she once ran. And to complicate the already-too-complicated, charming American Jack Abelhammer is back and ready to invest. Kate is by far the best part of a book that has loads of great parts. She's brilliant, funny, and tender as she observes the new foreignness of her marriage, her teenage children, her workplace, and her own self (now being tormented by "Perry and the Menopauses," the whimsical maestros behind her hot flashes and mood swings). Tackling sexism, growing older, and understanding one's needs when catering to those of so many others, Pearson writes realism with all the fun of escapism. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.





Seven years have passed since London financial executive Kate Reddy found what seemed the perfect balance of family and work in Pearson's popular I Don't Know How She Does It (2002). Those years have not been kind. Since Kate left her high-powered position to move to the countryside with her family, her formerly adorable kids have grown into bratty teens. Ben is a typically noncommunicative 14-year-old; more alarmingly, in trying to keep up with the popular mean-girl crowd, 16-year-old Emily recently took a "belfie"—selfie of her naked backside—which has gone viral. Kate's husband, Richard, once appealing and supportive, has become a bicycle fanatic with no time for his family. Laid off from his architectural firm, he has been retraining to become a counselor, yammering about mindfulness while Kate supports them all with part-time financial consulting gigs (and also manages Richard's ailing parents). Urgently short of money, the Reddys have recently relocated to a n impractical fixer-upper in "Commuterland" as Kate begins searching for a job back in London. Meanwhile, her 50th birthday, complete with perimenopause, looms. Like the other job-seeking women in her "returners" support group, she quickly learns that age and experience are not assets in the marketplace. Ironically, she ends up back at her old firm, which has changed name and ownership; fortunately, there's no one left who remembers her, since she has to prove her competence in a temporary position while pretending to be an acceptably youthful 42 with help from "lunchtime lipo." Kate proves herself indispensable, of course. She also reconnects with rich American dreamboat Jack, to whom she did not succumb years ago out of apparently misplaced loyalty to Richard. A caring mother, sister, daughter, and daughter-in-law, Kate thrives because she is smarter, wittier, prettier, and more competent than everyone else. She is also self-congratulatory, even when supposedly self-deprec a ting, and merciless to her enemies, even one encountered in the waiting room of a therapy center for self-harming teens. An aspirational fantasy in which the heroine not only survives, but flourishes through every crisis known to middle-age women in the higher income brackets. Copyright Kirkus 2018 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.






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