"I Don’t Know How She Does It"

I am reading the book “I Don’t Know How She Does It” by Allison Pearson.  When I saw the movie trailer it looked interesting, but not enough to see it.  I am very discriminating with my movie theater dollars.  I can be with how fast movies come out on DVD.  However, there are certain types of movies you should see on the big screen to fully appreciate: Star Wars, Harry Potter, The Avengers, Transformers and the like.  There are other, infrequent occasions to see something in a theater, too.  For example, making an evening of cocktails or dinner and Sex in the City or Bridesmaids with my girlfriends; my brother offers to sit for free and there happens to be a movie playing that both the hubs and I want to see but is inappropriate for B.

But in this case, it is a book turned into a movie.  I have a love/hate relationship with this scenario.  Hate: books are always better then their movie counterparts and most are better left alone on paper instead of put on the screen.  Love: Books I’ve never heard of are put on my radar and, subsequently, my reading list, when I see the trailer and I have enjoyed many of them.  Anywho, I heard over and over that “I Don’t Know How She Does It” was much better as a book and the movie was a disappointment.

I was surprised to discover as I started reading, that Allison Pearson is from the UK.  I don’t care for British authors on the whole.  Their tone, vocabulary and sense of humor (if there is one at all) is not to my liking.  In fact, JK Rowling is the only British author I like b/c she doesn’t write like a “typical” British author.  I wonder if that is b/c her target audience was children or if she “Americanized” her writing style, knowing that if the book was a hit, more copies would be sold in the US than the UK b/c, well, we have more people?  However, Ms. Pearson is quite successful in getting me to relate to her on the primal level of being a “mum”.  Maybe that’s b/c she isn’t British; she’s Welsh.  ;o)  I find her dead on with her descriptions of the main character’s feelings, predicaments, guilt, responsibilities, in-laws and the shameful, ever-present battle line drawn between WOHMs (work outside of the home moms) and SAHMs (stay at home moms).

I checked the book out of the library and am wishing I owned it; it is the kind of book I want to read with a highlighter in hand.  I am having Steel Magnolias stirrings inside me from this book and I have only read the 1st two chapters!  (In case you don’t understand the Steel Magnolias reference, IMO that movie is to women what The Godfather is to men.  As Tom Hanks said in You’ve Got Mail, “All of life’s questions can be answered in The Godfather.”)  Steel Magnolias is the movie I quote the most in my life and I quote a lot of movies!  Here is a highlighter-worthy excerpt from “I Don’t Know How She Does It” between the main character, Kate, and her father-in-law, Donald:

“Emily, Grandpa asked you to put that down.”
“No, I didn’t,” says Donald mildly. “I told her to put it down. That’s the difference between my generation and yours, Kate: we told, you ask.”

Zing!  There are paragraphs titled, MUST REMEMBER, that are simply the constant stream of thoughts going through Kate’s head.  And in the middle of each one this is thrown in:

“Pelvic floor squeeeze.

LOL!  I am looking forward to reading the rest of this book.  I’ll let you know what I think on the other side.

1 Comment

  1. Carol Amie says:

    I've never actually seem Steel Magnolias. Add it to the list of things I missed growing up under a rock. But I'll get it on my short list immediately. But I had the same thought about this book/movie. My copy is in at the library, so I should be reading it next week. Glad to know it's a good one so far!

    Like

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