Andrea reviews How Hard can it Be? by Allison Pearson (St.Martin’s Press, 2018.) I will tell you right now this is not so much a sequel as it is a continuation to I Don’t Know how She does It. The difference is a sequel tends to pick up exactly where the first title left off; whereas, a continuation could be a read alone but you might not catch all the past references.
Saying all that, Kate Reddy is now an unemployed mother of teenagers, Emily and Ben, and wife to Richard, a once-upon-a-time architect who has now found his second calling as a counselor/ therapist and avid bicyclist. Even though Kate is steadily looking for work because they can’t live off savings forever, she is still fretting about everything in the world. She has stayed the martyr she was in the first book but now the financial stress has her (almost) at her wit’s end. When Kate decides to shave a few years off (she’s now magically 42, not 49) she feels invigorated to reenter the corporate world. In fact, she takes a job in the Marketing Department at the old hedge fund she founded. Yes, it is a step back, but it is income.
Clamoring to stay afloat in the “boy’s club” at work, making sure her parents and in-laws are properly cared for, and keeping her teenagers in line, Kate and Richard start drifting apart… again. This time readers will wonder if they will stay together or not.
And, oh yeah! Did I mention Kate is going through menopause, as well? Or as she says, she has joined the band “Perry and the Hot Flashes.” Being almost there myself, her symptoms totally resonate with me. The funniest parts are when Kate asks “Roy,” the part of her brain who can archive and remember things when Kate is going through a brain fog, to help her with names, events, and anything else. “Roy” might be shuffling along but eventually, he’ll supply Kate the information she needs. Trust me, there’s been times I’ve needed a “Roy” in my life; we all have!
Kate Reddy is a superwoman to most readers; but to others, she’s a martyr. Above she is a woman who has taken on being so many tasks. We’ve all done it. You will either laugh or cry, but more than anything, you will relate.