Confessions of a Shopaholic

Confessions of a Shopaholic

Andrea Swanson

Confessions of a Shopaholic

Sophie Kinsella

Bantam Dell

New York, New York

ISBN: 0440241413 $6.99 350 pages

I thought I had a shopping problem. Then I read Confessions of a Shopaholic. Becky Bloomwood, the main character, takes shopping to a whole new level, namely addiction. Although I have occasionally succumbed to the temptation of Prada handbags and Hermes scarves, I haven’t nearly bankrupted myself, at Becky has.

Becky is a financial journalist who hates her job and shops way beyond her means. The item doesn’t matter, she buys it all, from luggage to picture frames to journals and cookbooks. As she gets farther and farther into debt, it depresses her, so she shops to cheer herself up. Even her efforts to earn extra money end up costing her more than she makes. When everything crashes in around her, Becky hides out at her parents’ house, inventing a cover story so they won’t think she is a failure. But she has to come out of hiding to help a friend in need.

Sophie Kinsella has done an excellent job of creating a really likeable, honest, realistic heroine. Becky makes friends easily at press launches and publicity events. She fibs a bit on her resume, which comes back to haunt her. She never realizes quite how high her credit card bill is until she opens it. She buys gifts for Guy from Accounting and others who are leaving for another job. And the story is not just about shopping. There is also friendship: her co-worker Elly, her roommate Suze, her parents’ neighbors, and the lengths that friends would go to for each other.

The story was unique and hilarious. I found myself alternating between laughter, the feeling of having been in Becky’s shoes myself, and the desire to physically restrain her from spending any more money. This book is definitely a must-read for any woman who covets Kate Spade shoes and owns five pairs of black pants. You’re in good company. This book is also great for frivolous summer reading on the beach or on an airplane.

COPYRIGHT 2004 Midwest Book Review

COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group