Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Pile of Stuff at the Bottom of the Stairs

The Pile of Stuff at the Bottom of the Stairs by Christina Hopkinson was a fun read. Mary feels like her husband, Joel, doesn't do anything around the house. Everything is left up to her. Feeling frustrated, Mary decides to keep track of Joel's many offenses on her computer. Each offense is carefully logged and a debit acquired. When she comes clean about this to a friend, it is suggested that perhaps some of Joel's good points should also be taken into account. With this small adjustment, Mary continues calculating all Joel does wrong - and right. Mary plans on keeping track of Joels' behavior for six months, with a goal that will allow her to divorce Joel if he has too many debits for bad behavior. I laughed when reading the list of Joel's many transgressions. Unfortunately, if I was keeping track, my husband does many of these same things. As the book is titled, Joel does not ever notice the pile of stuff at the bottom of the stairs, leaving it to Mary to pick up. Mary is the one who cleans up after meals. Mary awakens in the morning to find Joel's used kleenex littering his nightstand. All of these things are seen as major flaws. And yet, Mary's friends remind her time and again what a catch Joel is.

This book reminded me a great deal of Alison Pearson's I Don't Know How She Does It, a mommy-lit book set in Britain about a mother who tries to do it all. Mary is another such mother, and what she sees as real flaws in her marriage, seemed to me to be natural shifts in the way she and her husband interacted. No longer newly married, the two are busy trying to balance work and parenthood, which doesn't leave a great deal of time for romance.

Hopkinson does a great job with this book. The cover is one that I fnd rather unfortunate, and I am hoping readers will look beyond it. This was the perfect read to start out my summer- fun, fast, and entertaining.


Anonymous said...

I have this book on my Kindle to read at some point. I think I'll probably laugh at a lot of this. I decided that I am lucky with my husband. No, he doesn't put his dishes in the dishwasher, but he rinses them. No, he's never seen a drawer that he feels he needs to close, but our new house will have those soft-closing drawers that are almost automatic. No, he doesn't see why a bed ever needs to be made. But, he is so many other things. And he loves me and has since 1974, almost 40 years now. It's plenty enough. :-)

Have you seen the trailer of the movie of I DON'T KNOW HOW SHE DOES IT? Sarah Jessica Parker stars. Looked good to me. Haven't read the book.

Glad it was a good "start of summer" book! LOL

Melissa Mc (Gerbera Daisy Diaries) said...

I don't have stairs...but I do have piles!! Loved the title the first time I saw it...glad it was a worthy read.