Friday, March 30, 2007

Shopaholic & Baby

By Sophie Kinsella

Sophie Kinsella's chick-lit heroine is back.Now married, pregnant and working as the head personal shopper for a brand-new London boutique.For the uninitiated, the Shopaholic in question is Becky Bloomwood.She is not riddled with insecurities and neuroses but eternally chirpy, optimistic and cheerful. She has a slight spending problem, but as she gets conveniently married to a very rich man earlier on in the cycle, she never gets into real financial trouble and can indulge in her consumerist binges to her heart content. She is, basically, a shallow, celebrity and fashion obsessed idiot, and an insufferably girlie one at that, but she's also full of life, endearing, good-hearted, upbeat and resourceful. Oh,yes,she doesn't worry about being fat. She is the kind of person that many readers might wish was their friend, but even if you think you wouldn't be able to stand her for 10 minutes in real life, it can be pure fun reading about her.
Sophie Kinsella has created a character who at first seems ditzy, shallow and self-centered, but who evolves into a resourceful, sensitive friend, wife and mother. Her antics are laugh-out-loud funny and predictably unpredictable. After weepingly writing 17 pages of angst to her "unfaithful" husband, she suddenly decides that she can forgive him if he agrees to meet her at the top of a tall tower at midnight. Since Becky has trouble staying awake, she scratches out midnight and substitutes 6 p.m. Not being aware of any tall towers in London, she decides the top of the OXO building will be perfect for a romantic rendezvous.
This book is fun, and it's a perfect escape from all the serious concerns of real life. Becky is like a 21st-century Lucille Ball, full of comical, hair-brained ideas that sound impossible to everyone but her.
Sophie Kinsella writes well, with fluency and never losing the naturalness of her narrator, an ear for dialogue and a good sense of comedy, with Becky's parents, half-sister Jess and posh friend Suze prime secondary subjects for chuckles of recognition. But apart from that all, her books are refreshingly unpretentious: they are positive and kind, they don't pretend to deal with any kind of "issues" of either social or emotional kind. There is no real evil and no real heartbreak in them, there is no violence, and no sex. Shopaholic novels are pure, unadulterated, frothy entertainment with a dose of comedy of manners thrown in, and they do what they do very well indeed.
Madeleine Wickham (born 12 December 1968) is a bestselling British author under her pseudonym, Sophie Kinsella. Educated at New College, Oxford, she worked as a financial journalist before turning to fiction. She is best known for writing a popular series of chick-lit novels.
In this latest installment of the Shopaholic franchise , the commercially insatiable Becky Bloomwood shops for two in every upscale baby shop and catalogue in London, snags a celebrity ob/gyn and leverages a pair of the moment's 'most coveted' boots to negotiate a home purchase.
Complicating an otherwise uneventful pregnancy, Becky Bloomwood suspects her husband is having an affair with her hot doc,who also happens to be his ex-girlfriend,and she hires a gumshoe with predictable madcap results. For chick-lit lovers with babies of their own, or for those who covet one, Sophie Kinsella mines a rich vein by tweaking 21st-century glossy mag obsessions: from sonograms to the hottest baby strollers to tricked-out birthing rooms. Kinsella's ode to baby blues is both sly and slapstick.
This book might be the best one yet in the series! Becky Bloomwood preparing for motherhood is hilarious. You can picture her doing all the crazy things and you will laugh out loud.

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