Friday, September 19, 2014

The antics of Becky "The Shopaholic" in THE SECRET DREAMWORLD OF A SHOPAHOLIC




Like Lucy Talk  and Bridget Jones Diary, THE SECRET DREAMWORLD OF A SHOPAHOLIC" a.k.a  "CONFESSIONS OF A SHOPAHOLIC" by Sophie Kinsella falls under the genre known as 'chicklit' (a name I'm not really fond of) and candidly told in the point of view of the heroine- this time it's a young lady named Rebecca Bloomwood. She works as a journalist in Successful Savings (a financial magazine) and shares a flat with her best friend Suze in a trendy neighbourhood in London. And she has a problem... she has a shopping addiction. If it's a new pair of shoes, a lovely looking skirt, a silk blouse or a pair of designer jeans, or anything charming, beautiful or interesting...  she MUST HAVE IT, even though she can barely afford it. Worse still, as the story begins- it turns out she is yet to pay her outstanding Credit Card bill and her overdraft. For the most of the story, she gets letters of reminders from Visa and her bank but what does she do; she fends them off with lies, then ignores the letters completely- wondering how on earth she'll be able to pay her debts. Yet she's unable to curb her addiction for shopping and tries to "cut back" but Suze- on hearing her problem- pointed out the best way to go about it was "Make More Money." But that failed- on her first day of her 'Saturday job', her shopaholic problem reared its ugly head and she gets fired. Don't sympathise, she really acted stupidly so she deserved it! And all through the story, Luke Brandon- a wealthy entrepreneur- pops in and out of Becky's life, keeping the readers guessing if he will be her dream man or not.

Some would see Becky as irresponsible, not to mention a liar and  a hypocrite- she knows very well she has debts to pay yet keeps spending, she lies to the bank and the credit card company and she actually gives financial advice when she can't handle her own finances. The word 'FOOL' kept popping in my mind whenever she spends even more and I kept shaking my head, wondering JUST HOW she would clear up  the mess she heaped herself in. But on the other hand, Becky had a few redeeming qualities; she refused to let any one bail her out by writing out a check to her- she never even told her parents she was in debt- and went out of her way to help a couple whose financial crisis was far worse than hers. Then she reaches a point where she stumbles on her moment of reckoning but will she be given the chance to change or be punished?

This is actually the first part of Becky the Shopaholic's adventures and while you would shake your head with exasperation at Becky and see her as a joke, still... you would not help but like her and hope she would curb her 'shopaholic' addiction eventually!

Quote from book: 

For years now I've kind of operated under an informal shopping cycle. A bit like a farmer's crop rotation system. Except, instead of wheat, maize, barley, and fallow, mine pretty much goes clothes, makeup shoes, and clothes (I don't bother with fallow). Shopping is actually very similar to farming a field. You can't keep buying the same thing, you have to have a bit of variety. Otherwise you get bored and stop enjoying yourself.

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