Meet Rebecca Bloomwood. She's a journalist. She spends her working life telling others how to manage their money. She spends her leisure time ... shopping. Retail therapy is the answer to all her problems. She knows she should stop, but she can't. She tries Cutting Back, she tries Making More Money. But neither seems to work. The stories she concocts become more and more fantastic as she tries to untangle her increasingly dire financial difficulties. Her only comfort is to buy herself something - just a little something... Can Becky ever escape from this dream world, find true love, and regain the use of her Switch card? The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic... the perfect pick me up for when it's all hanging in the (bank) balance.
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If you've ever paid off one credit card with another, thrown out a bill before opening it, or convinced yourself that buying at a two-for-one sale is like making money, then this silly, appealing novel is for you. In the opening pages of Confessions of a Shopaholic, recent college graduate Rebecca Bloomwood is offered a hefty line of credit by a London bank. Within a few months, Sophie Kinsella's heroine has exceeded the limits of this generous offer, and begins furtively to scan her credit-card bills at work, certain that she couldn't have spent the reported sums.
In theory anyway, the world of finance shouldn't be a mystery to Rebecca, since she writes for a magazine called Successful Saving. Struggling with her spendthrift impulses, she tries to heed the advice of an expert and appreciate life's cheaper pleasures: parks, museums, and so forth. Yet her first Saturday at the Victoria and Albert Museum strikes her as a waste. Why? There's not a price tag in sight.
It kind of takes the fun out of it, doesn't it? You wander round, just looking at things, and it all gets a bit boring after a while. Whereas if they put price tags on, you'd be far more interested. In fact, I think all museums should put prices on their exhibits. You'd look at a silver chalice or a marble statue or the Mona Lisa or whatever, and admire it for its beauty and historical importance and everything--and then you'd reach for the price tag and gasp, "Hey, look how much this one is!" It would really liven things up.Eventually, Rebecca's uncontrollable shopping and her "imaginative" solutions to her debt attract the attention not only of her bank manager but of handsome Luke Brandon--a multimillionaire PR representative for a finance group frequently covered in Successful Saving. Unlike her opposite number in Bridget Jones's Diary, however, Rebecca actually seems too scattered and spacey to reel in such a successful man. Maybe it's her Denny and George scarf. In any case, Kinsella's debut makes excellent fantasy reading for the long stretches between white sales and appliance specials. --Regina Marler From the Inside Flap:
Rebecca Bloomwood just hit rock bottom. But she's never looked better....
Becky Bloomwood has a fabulous flat in London's trendiest neighborhood, a troupe of glamorous socialite friends, and a closet brimming with the season's must-haves. The only trouble is that she can't actually afford it -- not any of it.
Her job writing at Successful Savings not only bores her to tears, it doesn't pay much at all. And lately Becky's been chased by dismal letters from Visa and the Endwich Bank -- letters with large red sums she can't bear to read -- and they're getting ever harder to ignore.
She tries cutting back; she even tries making more money. But none of her efforts succeeds. Becky's only consolation is to buy herself something ... just a little something....
Finally a story arises that Becky actually cares about, and her front-page article catalyzes a chain of events that will transform her life -- and the lives of those around her -- forever.
Sophie Kinsella has brilliantly tapped into our collective consumer conscience to deliver a novel of our times -- and a heroine who grows stronger every time she weakens. Becky Bloomwood's hilarious schemes to pay back her debts are as endearing as they are desperate. Her "confessions" are the perfect pick-me-up when life is hanging in the (bank) balance.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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