The Mummy Diaries

A sparkling novel about juggling marriage, kids and job (and getting some sleep)

Sleep is the new sex. That's what it's come down to for the heroine of Allison Pearson's I Don't Know How She Does It (Knopf; 338 pages). A hedge-fund manager and frazzled mother of two, Kate Reddy aches for sleep, fantasizes about it and contrives how to get more, largely by avoiding sex with her husband.

Nearly every female lucky enough to have both a child and a byline--and I plead guilty--has strip-mined Pearson's theme: how to squeeze babies, marriage and a high-powered job into a day that cannot be stretched beyond 24 hours. But Pearson's Kate, a brisk, sardonic, loving...

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