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Home Age Space Book Shelf How Hard Can It Be? By Allison Pearson

How Hard Can It Be? By Allison Pearson

Kate Reddy is back and juggling teenagers, ageing parents and getting back into the workplace

Reviewed by Sharon Martin
Reviewed by Sharon Martin


We join Kate Reddy as she is approaching her 50th birthday, when she is having to face rejoining the workforce to pay the bills after her husband Richard decides to drop out of the rat race and retrain as a counsellor. Add in the Menopause, two moody teenagers and two sets of elderly parents to take care of, Kate is so busy she loses herself to family chaos and work pressures.

About the book

Kate Reddy is a former high flier in the city who gave up her career to look after her ailing mother and two children, Emily & Ben. Fast forward 7 years, with her husband Richard dropping out of the rat race and wanting to retrain as a counsellor, they sell up and return to London. They buy a house in need of renovation but it soon becomes apparent their savings are fast disappearing and Kate realises she will need to return to work if they are to survive but job hunting isn’t straight forward as in the world of Hedge Funds at the age of 49 Kate is seen as unemployable.

In need of a job so the family can survive while Richard is training, Kate decides to lie about her age and it finally lands herself a job at her old company EMRoyal, working on the same Hedge Fund she set up and ran 7 years previously. At first with her Menopause symptoms running riot, balancing a full time job and the demands of family life was tiring but after getting her symptoms under control she started to feel much better and in control.  Although she was still so busy trying to keep everyone happy that she doesn’t see what is really happening with her family, the hints are there: husband away more, game obsessed son and selfie obsessed daughter but with such a demanding life she doesn’t notice at first.

Then to complicate matters her old flame Jack reappears and all the old feeling resurface. When Jack tells her he still loves her and wants them to be together, Kate holds back knowing she can’t bring herself to leave her family and sends Jack away.

Our Rating


Would you recommend this book?

This was a very enjoyable, well written read, it has a story which I think many readers will be able to easily relate to on many levels. I totally agree with the quote by Sophie Hannah when she says the book is ‘ Funny, heart-breaking, wise and delightful’.