Allison Pearson, How Hard Can It Be? [Book Review]Brenda Jubin
I read a lot of fiction, mostly mysteries/thrillers, for relaxation and/or escapism, the vast majority of which I never write about. After all, who cares about my reactions to the latest exploits of Armand Gamache or Jack Reacher or all those girls or women “on/with/in,” pick your preposition?
How Hard Can It Be?: A Novel by Allison Pearson
Perhaps no one cares about my reactions to Kate Reddy either, but since I requested a copy of Allison Pearson’s How Hard Can It Be? (St. Martin’s Press, 2018) from NetGalley, I feel a duty to write a few words about it. Moreover, the reason I requested it was that, in the novel, Kate returns to the hedge fund she started years earlier, even though, as it turned out, this was the least realistic thread of the storyline.
How Hard Can It Be? is a sequel to Pearson’s blockbuster (four million copies sold worldwide) debut novel, I Don’t Know How She Does It, described by Oprah Winfrey as “the national anthem for working mothers.” I didn’t read the original novel, but its sequel is both incisive and hilarious. It speaks, of course, more to women than to men.
Kate Reddy, now pushing 50 and impatient to relinquish her all-engulfing role as wife and mother, sets out to re-enter the workforce. Of course, the kids, now teenagers, don’t go away, nor does her increasingly distant husband. And the financial world isn’t exactly scrambling to hire a 50-year-old whose only “relevant” work experience in seven years was serving as treasurer of the village parochial church council and chairman of the governors at a community college.
How Hard Can It Be? Very hard. But Kate didn’t compile an impressive track record in the City and survive years of motherhood to be daunted by little things like forgetfulness, a spreading middle, and the truth (does she really have to be nearly 50?).
This novel is a paean to grit, resourcefulness, humor, and new-found love. Women can rightfully be proud of Kate.
Article by Brenda Jubin, Reading The Markets