Seven years after leaving her high-demanding job, Kate Reddy’s life is still far from easy: her 16-year-old daughter Emily has problems at school and a picture of her bum has become a selfie (or "belfie") sensation on Facebook, while 14-year-old Ben rarely raises his eyes from the screen. Her husband Richard lost his job and he is too focused on his bike and his mindfulness to be of any help. Since her mother discovered technology she makes great use of it, including calling and texting all the time. Her in-laws are another worry on her to-do list and her house is a permanent construction site. The symptoms of menopause have the worst timings and she has to lie about her age to get her old job back. And when charming Jack, the man she’s been in love with for the past seven years, comes back in the picture, Kate’s life gets more and more complicated. Kate is nearing fifty but she is becoming invisible as everyone seems to take her for granted.
Women can relate to Kate both in her professional and her personal life in this sequel to I Don’t Know How She Does It. She juggles a boring husband, two irritating teenagers, and sexist and ageist co-workers. Thankfully she is assisted by Roy, her mental assistant (their exchanges are hilarious), and a group of friends who, like her, are going through a discovery of themselves. I loved how the author explores the relationships between women, mothers and daughters, sisters, friends and co-workers and how they support each other even during the hard times. (NP)
Kate Reddy, the working mother of I Don't Know How She Does It fame, is back, in Allison Pearson's latest novel, How Hard Can It Be? The summary says: "Kate Reddy is counting down the days until she is fifty, but not in a good way. Fifty, in Kate's mind, equals invisibility. And with hormones that have her in shackles, teenage children who need her there but won't talk to her and ailing parents who aren't coping, Kate is in the middle of a sandwich that she isn't even allowed to eat because of the calories.
She's back at work after a big break at home, because somebody has to bring home the bacon now that her husband Rich has dropped out of the rat race to master the art of mindfulness. But just as Kate is finding a few tricks to get by in her new workplace, her old client and flame Jack reappears - complicated doesn't even begin to cover it.
How Hard Can It Be? is a coming-of-age story for turning fifty. It's about so much more than a balancing act; it's about finding out who you are and what you need to feel alive when you've got used to being your own last priority. And every page will leave you feeling that there's a bit of Kate Reddy in all of us." How Hard Can It Be? is out in September 2017.