Book Review: The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic

 I have to admit that sometimes, there’s nothing like a good dose of chicklit as an antidote to the worries and dramas of daily life. You know, those times when you’ve had a really shitty week and everything has fallen in a great steaming pile of crap. A good bit of chicklit is like a hot chocolate and a lazy day on the couch in front of the fire. (Although in Alice Springs for some of the year, that’s more likely to be a day front of the air conditioner with a chilled glass of bubbly). At any rate, Sophie Kinsella’s Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic is exactly that kind of book. 

The Shopaholic is Rebecca Bloomwood (actually, her surname is the only thing I didn’t like in the book), a twenty-something Londoner with a shopping problem. She can’t resist a bargain, a sale … in fact, she can’t resist shopping. Her credit cards are maxed out, her bank is writing letters and phoning her about her overdraft and she’s in denial. The irony is that she’s a financial journalist for a small magazine, who’s supposed to be clued up on how to manage money. Add to this a wealthy love interest (a love-hate affair, of course) and a battle over big business ripping off the little guys, and you’ve got a great book to escape into.  It’s fun, light reading: pure indulgence and escapism (albeit, probably only for us gals).

I guess we can all recognise something of Rebecca in us all. I have dreadful memories of being a poor uni student with a mortgage, credit card, an AGC card and a car loan, and trying to survive on three casual jobs. Just as Rebecca does, I threw away unopened AGC and credit card statements, dreading the phone ringing for those times when I couldn’t make ends meet and had to prioritize what got paid (food in mouths and mortgage). And like Rebecca, I had to reverse my denial and do something about it. Small steps, behavioural changes.  

This book is fun and Rhiannon told me that it’s being turned into a movie with Isla Fischer (ex-Home and Away and Mrs Borat) playing Rebecca. Unfortunately, it’s being filmed in New York (I HATE THAT!!). Given that Rhiannon has read P.S I Love You and then seen the movie and been disappointed with the Americanisation of the novel, I probably won’t see Confessions of a Shopaholic (its US title) either.

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