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Mini Shopaholic review ck bray 04.10.2010


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Mini Shopaholic review ck bray 04.10.2010

  1. 1. MINI SHOPAHOLIC Author: Sophie Kinsella <br />Publisher: Bantam PressISBN 9780593059807RRP $32.95Reviewed by: CK Bray <br />I’m a devoted Sophie Kinsella fan so when I spied the cover of her latest book Mini Shopaholic I couldn’t wait to tear into it like a shopping bag from a posh boutique. Then I realised that Kinsella has written five previous “Shopaholic” books. How I have managed to miss them I’ll never know, but it’s not at all necessary to have read the previous titles in the series. Dive right in like you’re at a 50% off sale.<br />We meet Becky Brandon (nee Bloomwood) confirmed shopaholic, her divine but distracted workaholic husband, Luke, and their precocious “mine-aholic” daughter Minnie, who’s favourite word is “mine.” I was immediately entranced by the unique introduction which integrates letters to Becky from the “Tick Tock Playgroup” regarding Minnie, and her unusual behaviour, and whether they can be accepted into the playgroup.<br />Kinsella continues this charmingly distinctive method of involving the reader by including the content of letters, emails and text messages sent to and from the main characters. I laughed out loud at the letters from “The Central Departmental Unit for Monetary Policy” responding to Becky’s suggestions on how to improve the economy, which are nothing short of genius.<br />The Global Financial Crisis launched itself on an unsuspecting Great Britain, and the rest of the world, fairly early on in the book. This is obviously disastrous news for Becky, Minnie and “Grana”, which is what Minnie calls Becky’s mum. All three women possess an affinity and devotion to shopping so strong they allow their retail mania to rock their relationships with significant others.<br />My initial impression was shock at such spendthrift ways. I imagined it impossible to conceive of a more selfish, egocentric girl than Becky. Her obsessions appear to be limited to designer brand labels and pressuring her already stressed husband for another child – for the singularly superficial reason that she wants both children to wear red pom-pom hats and to be known as “The Children in the Red Pom-Pom Hats.”<br />At first glance her parents also appear to be malleable and indulgent, allowing this vacuous princess to take over the majority of their house with her clothes, cosmetics and accoutrement. Becky and Luke can’t seem to find a property to buy, but living with Becky’s parents gives them access to all-hours free babysitting and lenient rules for Minnie’s disruptive behaviour.<br />But the better we get to know Becky, the more we begin to warm to this gem of a girl in a flibbertigibbet’s clothing. Becky’s earth biscuit sister Jess returns from South America with Tom, the next-door neighbours’ son, and tries to shame the family into becoming eco-friendly green. When Becky tries bartering instead of shopping she suffers some hilarious results.<br />When Becky agrees to allow husband Luke’s estranged birth mother Elinor to meet Minnie, Becky’s inherent huge-hearted kindness reveals itself. Her thoughtfulness and generosity come to the front when she decides, disastrously, to plan a surprise birthday party for Luke. But I really began to fall in love with Becky and her clever, caring, considerate nature when she came up with a guilt-free way for women to continue to shop in a depressed economy.<br />You’ll be swept away to swanky stores and exquisite estates, laughing all the way at some seriously stunning circumstances in Sophie Kinsella’s latest book. I’m hooked on this hilarious series and can’t wait to get every book in the sequence; I’m a confirmed Shopaholic-aholic!<br />