Don’t worry. I’m not the shopaholic here. I just finished reading a book by that name by Sophie Kinsella. Rebecca Bloomwood is a financial journalist in London who loves to shop, especially when she’s depressed. She ignores the mounting piles of letters from her bank and credit card companies and goes merrily on her way. But one day after a disastrous date the night before, she tries to buy a large amount of items at a department store and discovers, to her amazement, that all her credit cards have been maxed out. She then runs home crying to Mom and Dad. Okay, she’s not exactly crying. She is, after all, a big girl. But she tells them she’s being stalked by a man who works at her bank, and they agree to let her stay for as long as necessary. While hiding out at her parents’ house, she discovers that their neighbors and others have been scammed by a major bank and writes an article about it which is published in a London tabloid. As a result, she ends up on a major morning television talk show and gets a contract to do call-ins on the show regarding financial issues on a regular basis. This should bring in enough extra money so she can pay off her debts.
Confessions of a Shopaholic is the first in a series of books, but right now, I’m not sure I want to read any more books in this series. I loved Sophie Kinsella’s first person point of view portrayal of Becky because I got the feeling Becky was talking to me directly. Of course, I was listening to a recording of the book I purchased from audible.com, and the English narrator did an excellent job. The problem is that I don’t like Becky Bloomwood. Time and time again, I found myself telling her off when she got herself into one mess after another.
Here’s one case in point. In an attempt to make more money so she can pay off her credit card debts, she gets a Saturday job working in a clothing store. While stocking shelves, she discovers a pair of jeans she absolutely must have and plans to buy them later while she’s on her break. After being assigned to help customers in the fitting rooms, a girl appears, carrying that same pair of jeans, and in a vain attempt to keep them for herself, Becky tells her that she can only try on three items, and she has four. The girl agrees to try everything else on except the jeans. Becky hides them, and when much to her horror, the girl asks for them after trying everything else on, she hems and haws until the girl becomes angry, and the manager appears. Becky is fired on the spot. My poor husband didn’t know what to think when at that point, I said, “Oh, God, Becky, how could you be so stupid?”
I don’t think Becky understood the severity of her circumstances, even at the end of the book. If she did, she didn’t want to admit she was wrong. I prefer to read a book with a main character with whom I can empathize, and I really have a hard time understanding people like Becky Bloomwood. To learn more about Sophie Kinsella and her books, visit http://www.sophiekinsella.co.uk/
Abbie Johnson Taylor
Author of We Shall Overcome