Confessions of a Shopaholic
by Sophie Kinsella
Random House 2001
Now most of you know that I dont normally read chick-lit. We really shouldn't call it by that name because it is rather demeaning towards women. Usually books in this genre are about women written by women, and for women.
But after having seen some previews of the movie Confessions of a Shopaholic that is due to open this week, I thought I would give the book a try. Having borrowed the book from the library, it turned out to be hilarious and actually rather good. The movie is based on both this book and one of the sequels - Shopaholic in Manhattan. This was done so that the movie location could easily be moved from London (UK) to New York (USA).
Rebecca Bloomwood is a shopaholic - like I am a bookaholic. She cannot walk past a fashion shop without going in, just like I cannot pass a book shop without at least checking out the new arrivals and the sales tables.
Rebecca works for a Financial company writing articles for the monthly financial newsletter. She hates this job, but at least she gets paid. Becky also has a lot of debt. She has too many credit cards and all of them are over their limits. Her checks regularly bounce and she is getting threatening letters from credit card companies as well as her bank manager.
Becky knows she should do something about this, so she tries cut back on her spending. This does not work. So she tries to make more money with a framing business (one of those mail scams that send you a kit and then pay you for the work). That doesnt work either. So Becky gives up and keeps on shopping.
On a visit home to her parents one weekend, the neighbours ask Becky about the letter they recived from their investment bank suggesting that they switch their investments to a new type of investment, and that they will get a free gift if they do so. Becky thinks she has vaguely heard something about this company so she tells them it might be a good idea.
Several weeks later Becky hears that this same investment company has been taken over by a bank. The company name rings a bell but she cannot remember.
When Becky goes back home to her parents for another visit, she discovers that her neighbours were swindled out of twenty thousand pounds because they switched their investments.
One of the advantages of writing for a financial magazine is that you get to go to various financial news conferences whenever a release is being put out. Thus Becky has met a number of reporters for a number of newspapers and magazines.
When Becky discovers that her neighbours have been swindled, she contacts a news reporter for a tabloid newspaper and asks if they would like her story. Sure they would. Becky writes an article detailing how every person who took the suggestion of the letter (that was sent out) to switch their investments, were all swindled out of 20,000 pounds.
The day her story is printed, all H-E-double-L breaks loose in London. Becky is quickly called and asked to appear on TV. A financial expert will appear opposite her to tell the company's side of the story. But he turns out to be the PR guy Becky has a crush on. Not even the investment business thought it necessary to appear on TV to repaid their broken image. Thats why businesses have PR companies.
At the end of the book Becky is in a whole different position from where she was at the beginning. She has a new job, lots of money to pay off her debts and she has finally found love.
A very interesting and funny book. Set in London, UK. NOT read for any challenge, but just because I wanted something light to read.