Author Allison Pearson sings the song of the modern mom

Allison Pearson's
Allison Pearson's "I Think I Love You" is her long-awaited second novel. Her first, "I Don't Know How She Does It," is being made into a movie starring Sarah Jessica Parker. (For The Washington Post)
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Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, February 6, 2011; 11:10 PM

CAMBRIDGE, ENGLAND - Allison Pearson's body sits on the floor of the upstairs office, called the Pink Room for its wallpaper. Her eyes are closed; she is moving her lips and gently swaying from side to side in time with the music, the fabric of her skirt periodically clinging to the carpet, revealing vulnerable swaths of leg. The whole thing is intensely personal; you would almost rather walk in on someone flossing as having this meditative flashback, which appears to border on the religious.

Allison Pearson's mind has gone to a nice place. A feathered haircut place. A place of corduroy and soft, girlish man-voices, and Partridge families, and -

"Wait, here it comes, here's the 'but' - "

'Cause I know. THIS won't. DI-sa-peeeear.

"Now!"

But . . .

Allison Pearson's mind is with David Cassidy.

Nearly a decade after her first novel, "I Don't Know How She Does It," became the millennium's first mommy bible, British author and journalist Pearson has released her long-awaited second work.

"I Think I Love You" is about love. First love. The first, all-consuming, soul-melting love experienced by 13-year-old girls toward the men who live in posters inside their lockers. Love in the time of tweenagers.

The women will love it.

To understand why it is important that Pearson, 50, wrote a second novel, you must first understand what "I Don't Know How She Does It" did. And what it did was help launch the entire genre of mommy lit. (Think Bridget Jones - with babies!) What it did was usher in the decade of the self-deprecating online parenting forums that trade in one-upmanship of incompetence, the endless confessions regarding who forgot which peanut-free food for which classroom party. (But if everyone's a bad mom, is anyone?)


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